I consider myself very fortunate to book clients who are such a joy to work with. It's not only encouraging but also inspiring when I meet a mother returning to work after leaving the workforce to care for her children.
A study by Harvard Business Review showed that stay-at-home moms were only half as likely to get an interview callback after submitting their resume, compared to mothers who were laid off for the same period. Quite a daunting figure.
When I left the corporate workforce to focus on being a stay-at-home mother for three years, there was a nagging concern about what I would do after this period was over and how a new job role or profession would fit into our new family dynamic. After much discussion, my husband and I decided to open Nadia Chapman Photography. A photography studio offering professional headshots and portraits to Portland, Vancouver, and surrounding areas. Starting a business as a stay-at-home-mom certainly has its challenges, and it's not something every family would have the desire to embark on.
Regardless of how stay-at-home moms decide to reenter the workforce, here are some tips that can help mothers navigate that transition.
1 . Upgrade your online presence
There is no doubt that we live in an online era. With 77% of recruiters using LinkedIn as a recruitment channel and 63% using Facebook, how you present yourself on social media has a huge impact. Your profile picture, especially on LinkedIn is a valuable tool to show you are serious about your return into the workforce. A professional headshot that expresses confidence and competence will leave a lasting impression on recruiters. Seeking a professional headshot photographer who produces powerful headshots is a worthwhile investment to anyone seeking a new professional position.
2. Deeply consider what works for you and your family.
Considering what type of job will work for you and your family dynamic is vital for successfully reentering the workforce. Consider some of the following questions:
-What type of company do I want to work for?
-What type of position do I want?
-Do I need a full-time, part-time, flexible schedule?
-Do I want to work from home or in an office/location?
-Do I want a job with an upward career trajectory?
Narrowing down your search with some of these parameters will help you be more intentional in finding the right position for you.
3. Develop your personal brand
You are more than a resume. Your personal brand takes into consideration your skills (both professional and non-professional), experiences, passions, and personality traits. Consider these points, along with what is included in your resume, to come up with a few sentences (elevator pitch) that leaves a positive, relatable impression of you as a professional person.
4. Get connected
It can be hard to network after being out of the workforce for so long. LinkedIn is a valuable resource for this. Consider following people and companies in the area you are pursuing. Joining webinars and attending conferences can build your knowledge, connections and show your investment and dedication to your employment journey.
5. Be gentle with yourself
This journey will be filled with so many emotions. Rejection and negative feedback are inevitable, but so is personal growth and development. Examine your coping mechanisms before you embark on this journey. Exercise, meditation, and of course, friends and family will give you a healthy support blanket to help you navigate the ups and downs of this journey.
Over 70% of stay-at-home moms do successfully reenter the workforce, a number that we can focus on for encouragement and hope. If you are a mother currently on this journey, I wish you all the best. I also encourage you to talk about your journey with others in a similar situation to educate and uplift. Feel free to leave a comment below to that effect.