With many parents forced to work from home, work reduced hours, or leave the workforce entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returning to work doesn't come without obstacles.
According to a recent FlexJobs report, parents who are looking for a job post-pandemic are concerned about a lot of different things. Here are the top three biggest concerns for parents trying to return to work after COVID-19, and tips for how to overcome these job search challenges.
1. Finding The Right Job Opportunities
For parents looking to return to work after COVID-19, finding the right job opportunities came out as the top concern according to the survey mentioned above, with 75% of parents saying they are worried about this aspect of the job search. Additionally, 62% of parents say their career goals have changed since spending time out of the workforce, so navigating those changes to their career goals in addition to high levels of competition and a seemingly lack of good job opportunities could be fueling their worries of finding the right job opportunity for them.
What you can do: To give yourself a better chance of finding the right job opportunity, make sure you're conducting a strategic job search. This includes creating an interview bucket list, writing disruptive cover letters, and building your professional network so you can get your foot in the door at your dream companies.
2. Finding A Job With Adequate Pay
The second biggest concern for parents trying to return to work is finding a job with adequate pay (49%). This doesn't come as a surprise since the top reason parents are returning to work in the first place is because of financial reasons, with 81% of parents saying that is their primary motivation.
What you can do: If you find a job at a company you like and are offered the position after going through multiple rounds of interviews, but realize the pay would not be enough for you to live comfortably, you can try to negotiate your salary. Make sure you know your worth as a business-of-one, the competitive salary rates of the position, and your "walk away" rate before you begin the salary negotiation process.
3. Explaining Gaps On Their Resume
Anytime you leave the workforce, there's a chance you'll have to address that gap on your resume when you finally decide to return to work. For 40% of parents looking to return to the workforce after the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining gaps on their resume was a top concern, rounding out the three biggest concerns they have in regards to their job search after being out of the workforce for a stretch of time.
What you can do: Optimize your LinkedIn profile and learn the right way to explain gaps on your resume. Also, if asked about gaps on your resume in an interview, don't try to overexplain anything. A short, concise explanation will clear things up without making it seem like you're hiding something.
If you're a parent trying to return to work after the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably have at least one of the concerns mentioned above. Whether you're worried about explaining gaps on your resume, finding a job with adequate pay, or finding the right job opportunities, there are ways to work around these job search challenges. Focus on what you can control in your job search, and you'll be sure to successfully return the workforce sooner than you think.
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