I left my corporate job after my first child was born. My company was so great and wanted me to feel special, so they threw me a retirement party. At 30, I had no idea what was in store for the future, but retirement felt like the wrong word. I felt a piece of me that I put “on hold” was burning inside again when school-time approached. I knew for me that going back to work full-time with a high responsibility and demanding job was NOT what I wanted. It was important to me to still be around the kids when they were out of school and have the flexibility to attend events during the day if needed. And (last but certainly NOT least) I wanted some time to take care of me! Since then, I have been working part-time during school hours and have not had to sacrifice my family. Trying to balance everything seems daunting, but taking the time to lay down the foundation of what you want will take the pressure off if you’re feeling the itch to work again.
Find clarity. Really take some time and write out what you want from a job and how it will look with your family lifestyle during school hours. Do you want to work remotely? How many hours could you feasibly work each week? Do you want set days? What does flexible really mean to you? Be specific and keep asking questions like this until you have written down exactly what you want and don’t worry if it takes a week. Don’t judge or limit yourself. I truly believe there is a job match out there for everyone and their family.
Maximize your strengths. It can be so easy to focus on what you believe is limiting or find it challenging that you have been out of the workforce. Don’t go there! Focus on what you DO have. Sit down and write down skills that you are REALLY good at; whether it is from previous jobs, volunteer positions or running the household.
Align your values. The time that you have while your kids are in school is very precious. If you don’t find stuffing envelopes (although sometimes mundane work is all we need to bring in some bacon), then don’t spend your time doing it. Be picky! Ask yourself WHY are you really looking for a job. What type of work would really fulfill you? What type of values or company would you be interested in? Do you need the position to be paid?
Communicate you. Now that you have a broad sense of your skills and where you want to go, it’s time to articulate it. Find a cool resume builder online (I like Canva and its free!) and build it based on your best strengths and the type of work you want to do. Be sure to put your work as a SAHM on the resume listing the skills you have learned (patience, anyone?). Update your LinkedIn profile with similar language and a nice professional-looking picture.
Make the match. It’s time to put yourself out there and see what comes. The best job boards are indeed, craigslist (for part-time or gigs), LinkedIn, glassdoor, etc. I LOVE flexjobs.com. It does cost money, but they weed through “scam jobs” for those of looking for part-time work during school hours. For local jobs, it’s also great to look in newspapers or for flyers around town. Let friends know you are looking for a part-time work situation. Referrals are the best source. Volunteering in the meantime can always lead to a paying referral or job as well.
Be sure to be kind to yourself during a job search and practice self-care. It can be rejecting and vulnerable, but remember your strengths and a match will come your way!
Emily Marquis is your Progression Partner; helping women navigate their career from the inside out. Emily empowers women through clarity in values, intention, strengths, and goal setting while incorporating mindful approaches to manage time and stress. Emily resides in Colorado with her family and loves spending time outdoors. Are you ready to make a positive change in your life? Take my FREE Readiness for Change Quiz and find out!