I give so much credit to Stay At Home Moms (SAHM). I’m not saying that to get brownie points from you ladies. I seriously don’t know how you do it. I know so many women who have graduate degrees, climbing the corporate ladder, breadwinners… and they were able to drop all of that instantly to stay home with their precious kiddos. Ugh, that selflessness is too amazing to even put into words. And when you try to return to the workplace, where you once reigned, you’re shut out for “taking time off”.. <pulling my hair out in frustration>
Although I can’t change society’s view on SAHMs (and dads), I can help get you back in the swing of things! If you’re looking to land a job after being a stay at home mom, you’re in the right place.
How To Go From Stay At Home Mom To Dream Job
Create A Killer Resume
Skills and Relevant Experience – I find that SAHMs sell themselves short all the time. In fact, I think women in general have a tendency to do this. You are a bad ass girl boss, remember that! Check out this amazing post on how to create a resume after taking time off. In case you need a little inspiration; however, here are some skills that may resonate:
- Organizational Skills
- Punctual with Deadlines
- Multitasking under pressure
- Proficient in MS Office
Find Your Dream Job
Nail An Interview
If it’s been a while since you’ve had an interview (or adult conversations), here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Appearances matter – Sorry, but it’s true. Don’t show up in your nursing tank top and spit up in your hair. Although taking a shower sounds like a luxury these days, pull yourself together and at least give the appearance of having things in total control and order.
- Don’t discuss your kids – I know, your kids are the cutest little beings on earth. But even if a prospective employer asks about your family, keep it short and sweet. The truth is they are being polite and now is not the time to talk about little Timmy’s lost tooth.
- Bring extra copies of your resume
- Come with questions – These should not be selfish questions like “how much time would I get off”. You can ask that during negotiation. Ask questions about the role itself, the work environment, or even ask what they are looking for in a perfect candidate.
- Be specific with your answers – As someone who has interviewed many candidates, there’s nothing more frustrating than someone who doesn’t provide specifics. Here’s what I mean…If the employer asks “do you have experience in XYZ”, answering generically with “yes, I’m familiar with XYZ” isn’t useful. Instead, try saying “Yes, I am very proficient in XYZ. At my volunteer position with the school, I was asked to organize files in XYZ. I taught myself to utilize the software very quickly, organized the files in alphabetical order, and recommended to the school that they begin using their automated reporting for better tracking”. Ok, you get the point. Be specific!
- Don’t lie – There may be something you are asked, that you just aren’t familiar with. Don’t lie. Instead, let the employer know that 1) You are comfortable in unfamiliar situations (give a specific example) 2) You are a fast learner (give an example!) and 3) You enjoy a challenge (you guessed it, give an example). Now, if you’re not a fast learner or comfortable in these situations, don’t lie! Sometimes it’s ok to admit that a job just might not be for you.
I’m going to say it again… You are a bad ass girl boss!
Negotiate Your Perfect Offer
If you’ve received an offer, congratulations!!! I told you that you are a bad ass girl boss! Now, time for negotiations. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s really not as scary as it sounds.
- Benefits – Before negotiating, be sure you have all of your questions answered about benefits. How much paid time off will you get, bonus/commissions, 401k matching, health insurance, dependent care spending account, health savings account, transportation reimbursement.
- Value – Whether or not the offer is good, will depend on what you value. The salary may be competitive, but if you don’t get paid time off, is that going to work well with your lifestyle? Maybe there is a hefty education reimbursement provided, but you would value addition paid time off more. Knowing your priorities is important.
- Take Time – When you receive an offer, I think it’s best to ask to take some time to think it over. Maybe you want to discuss this with your partner. Or just evaluate your priorities before making rash decisions. Don’t take all the time in the world, but taking an hour or 2 to get back to them is completely acceptable.
- Counter Offer – Now that you know the offer and had time to think it through, you can provide a level headed counter offer. If you’re asking for more, reiterate why you are valuable. I prefer to find a mutually beneficial “trade”. For example, Instead of a $10k bonus potential, I would prefer $5k bonus and potential to earn up to another $15k in commission (or no limit). Or, instead of an annual education reimbursement of $10k, would you be willing to apply that to my existing student loans?
- Mindset – Before you start your new job, get in the right mindset! This book is awesome for preparing for a new job or new role
Read Here For: Why I want to apply more money to my existing student loans
Remember, you are valuable! It doesn’t matter if you have a degree, how much experience you have, or what your special skill is. In the right role, you are valuable.
Your Next Step: Build your resume
Oh, and one more thing…You Are A Badass Girl Boss!
Other Handy Posts: