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How To Go Back To Work After Raising Kids

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How can you show your skills from previous jobs are relevant after a 10-year hiatus? There are a ton of mothers who have to reinvent themselves after having children. You’re not alone! Don’t let that be a road block. You’ve been working all along, even if it isn’t for a paycheck. Now, you want to redirect your career. The strategy outlined below shows you how to go back to work after raising kids.

As a general rule of thumb, each year you’re out of the workforce leads to a 10% skills turnover. (Your abilities are 10% less valuable, because they’re starting to get outdated.) For someone who’s been out for 10 years, your skills are basically irrelevant. However, there is something you can do about it.

If your approach is to send resumes out on job boards with those resumes signifying your 10-year absence from working, you’re not going to get any interviews. Their first impression of you can’t be that you’ve been out for ten years if they’re going to hire you. Traditional job searching won’t work for you, because it’s too heavily focused on your resume.

Today, people get hired for three things: personality first, aptitude second and experience third, in that order. That works in your favor, because you can make a good impression.

If they can see a person like you working there, they can see you working there. Some companies or roles require a very specific kind of person. If you fit that description and/or you’re a hard working, willing-to-learn optimist, you can fit into almost any work environment (especially a good one, which this one hopefully is).

If you can do the tasks they require and adapt when necessary, then you’re going to be productive there. A simple test or a few questions they have during your interviews will give them the right idea about your abilities.

If you have the experience, you can hit the ground running.

It’s very rare that one candidate has all three of those requirements at the level the company wants for the job. While experience is important, the wrong attitude or personality will prevent you from succeeding in a position.

Networking is the easiest way for you to get a job. You can (and should) put together a resume that is updated and explains what you’ve done for the last decade, including any volunteer work you may have done. Don’t let that be the meat of your efforts though.

Instead, let a potential problem you’d like to solve be your main priority. What do you want to do and why? What skills do you want to leverage?

Once you find the answers to these questions, start setting up informational interviews. Propose the problem you want to solve, and have them help you find the people that need it solved in your area. Try to find out what it would take for you to earn a job with their company or another given your circumstances.

Don’t set up discussions with the companies that are hiring. Set them up with the ones that have the problem you want to solve and discover how you could end up working with them in the future.

That subtle change in wording will keep the conversation from feeling stuffy or inauthentic for both you and the interview subject. By showing your willingness to get back into the working world but learning new skills along the way, you display the right attitude to get hired. If you can adapt, and learn new things, it doesn’t matter nearly as much that you don’t have the necessary experience.

Talk to five or 10 companies to find out the skills gap you need to close. In meeting with that many hiring managers, you’ll refine your pitch and exhibit the right personality to get an offer without even applying for a job. Go around the process to find a job. If you can figure out what it takes to be keepable for an employer after they hire you based on your aptitude and personality, you’ll have no need to worry about your new-found job security. The hiring managers will figure out for themselves that you’re ready for the job right now.


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