Parenting is the hardest job on the planet. Multi-tasking, scheduling and creative solutions are inherent to childcare. So why can it feel so alien for a stay-at-home parent to consider returning to the commute cosmos?
“I’m out of touch,” said Jennifer, mom of three. “I speak two languages and used to sell real estate, but these days I don’t remember how to have a business conversation.”
Jennifer is, of course, underestimating herself, forgetting her distinguishing talents and has lost sight of her smarts and savvy. But she’s not alone. A transition from home to the workplace can leave parents feeling irrelevant, limited in opportunities and wondering, ‘how can I possibly do it all?’
Author Stacey Hawley suggests the key is to pursue a career you will enjoy, and offers 5 steps to capitalize on skills and competencies to work towards fulfillment. Finding a job you love, says Hawley, is critical to success.
Returning to work part or full-time boils down to having the right tools, coaching and inspiration. Fear not, you’ve got this.
Tools: while revising a resume is a time-intensive exercise, it affords you the opportunity to capture your personal journey and begin visualizing new occupational aspirations. In addition to committing your story to paper, you’ll also need to be prepared to confidently express your experience … and interests going forward. You will be pressed for time as you look to manage the household and job search simultaneously, so consider limiting your electronic resources to a finite list at first, for organization and sanity. Begin with a list comprised of simply email, LinkedIn and one specific job board.
Coaching: identify a career counselor, whether a recruiting specialist at Atrium, or a professional confidant you trust and admire. Lean on this person for a candid review of your resume and some mock interviewing. Then, begin to test the waters by identifying a person or two you would like to interview. Rule of thumb: people love to talk about themselves, so ask these individuals for 30-minute informational sessions and draft 5-7 thoughtful questions to impress, broaden your reference network and, more importantly, learn from and apply to your new pursuit. And finally, don’t forget the mirror … spend some time updating a few wardrobe pieces to remind yourself how well you clean up; you’ll sound your best when you look your best.
Inspiration: you can look to your children, spouse, religion, exercise, books, YouTube and everything in between for motivation; but all you really need is to trust in yourself, your transferable skills and your compilation of experience. Once you put your intention in motion and blend with a dose of enthusiasm, you will surely be on your way to success.
– Kelly Couto acts as a Program Manager with the Atrium Managed Services division. Whether at home or in the office, fixing shenanigans is her specialty. A mom and New Jersey resident, too, she is in constant pursuit of the balance between sanity and success.