Part Three of Returning to Work After Raising Kids

A New You

The world around us is constantly moving forward. Just look at the products in your home, “new and improved”. Vehicles are safer and more comfortable, and they get better all the time. They become more efficient too. People are always changing – our style, our interests, our friendships and our attitudes are never exactly the same.

Motherhood is no doubt a huge change in your life. It is often a time of self-reflection and a time when we might  switch direction to head off on a new path. With respect to your work, sometimes it’s simply a small change from one position in the same field to another which better fits your new lifestyle demands. Other times, you might stay with your same employer, but change roles altogether. However, sometimes you may decide to make a major shift and start a whole new career or position in a new field.

Here are some clues that it’s time to consider a change:

  • You have completely new interests.
  • The market for your current skill set is just not there anymore.
  • You’ve found your your passion.
  • You’ve discovered that your degree isn’t the right direction for your career.
  • You’ve found you have talents that until now were hidden.
  • You are in a rut and you are tired of it..
  • You need more money.
  • You need more free time.
  • You need a career or position that offers more flexibility than the one you currently have.
  • You want to be an entrepreneur.

Once you have figured out that change is upon you and you have selected a new direction for your career, you have to begin to assess the new market. How can you package and sell yourself and your experience in this new environment. What you did in one position, even in a completely different field, can be an asset in many other settings. Try to assess your qualifications and experience from all angles.

Some things to consider:

  • Learn everything you can about your new area of interest.
  • Compare the essential job skills with your experience.

Write a bio or use a functional resume format to apply to jobs. A chronological resume may be confusing to potential employers (or clients). Focus on specific skills rather than a history. Your cover letter will be especially important as will a resume summary that focuses on career goals.

With your new goal set and your resume ready, create a plan to make the leap.

  • Consider the possibility of an internal transfer. You already know the people in your current organization, and they know you. The key here is to ask if jobs in a new field exist within your current place of employment. Large companies sometimes offer electronic postings of available internal opportunities.
  • Volunteer. Demonstrate your skills and get to know people while showing them what you can do.
  • Network. Tell everyone you know or meet that you are looking. Distill your goals into one or two sentences so you can quickly explain your priorities and can be as efficient in the process as possible.
  • Be Patient. It may take some time to find the right fit and you may find yourself starting a few rungs lower on the career ladder. Be patient with yourself and stay focused on your dreams.