Dr Amanda Gummer Says...
Dr. Amanda Gummer has dedicated her life to working with children and families in a variety of settings since 1993. As well as running a family support charity in London and teaching children...
Returning to work: How to find a new, family-friendly job after a career break
Trying to return to work and then juggle your career after a break is difficult – but not impossible. As a working mum, Dr Gummer shares some of her tips for boosting your CV and your confidence to land that dream job:
Trying to get a new, family-friendly job after a career break is a daunting task but is definitely possible with the right attitude. Despite the economic climate, the biggest barrier for women in this situation isn’t a lack of jobs – part-time jobs are increasing even in the recession, it’s confidence.
How do you write an appealing CV in when your last gainful employment is over 5 years ago?
Employers aren’t going to be impressed by your one-handed nappy changing skills, or your knack of keeping your toddler entertained by spinning him around in an empty washing basket – or are they?
It’s all about how you see the last few years of your life. Nappy brain happens because you are on such a steep learning curve with other skills that you don’t have the resources to remember some of the mundane aspects of life, so it’s not true that you’ve not ‘done anything new’ recently.
Multi-tasking, prioritising and budgeting are all activities which will have been part of your daily life recently and the chances are you’re a lot better at them now than you were before you had children – these are transferrable skills and one which employers value highly.
In addition, responding calmly to a crisis (remember when your little darling damaged some expensive piece of furniture when visiting friends or family?), thinking creatively (the washing basket activity), and perseverance (you will get those 5 a day into your little darling if it kills you!) are all equally important characteristics of a desirable employee.
If you’ve helped run a toddler group, or volunteered to help out at a fundraiser the chances are your organisation skills are being honed and when you stop and think about it, you will be able to list a few more things that you do now that you didn’t do before you had kids, or that you can do better.
So it’s time to stop thinking of all the career skills that might be a bit rusty and focus on what you can do. Focus also on what you have enjoyed doing over the last few years and see if you can apply for jobs that involve those activities and skills.
Are you keen to get back to work? Or did you successfully return to your job after taking a break? Whether you’re a working or wanting to start, let us know your thoughts and any tips for juggling motherhood and a career.