I got into the ‘job board’ business back in 1997. Not too long after that I was introduced to Salary.com as a result of hearing of their Mom’s Salary Wizard. BRILLIANT idea to calculate what a stay-at-home-Mom’s time is worth! BTW—you might want to note that ‘mom’ might not even have kids but is in fact caring for her own parents.
More to the point Wonder Woman has, for whatever reason, decided that the time is right to get back into the workforce but she has no ‘experience.’ Really?!
- Start with the Salary.com “What’s a Mom’s Work Worth?” calculator.
This tool will get you thinking about all the stuff moms do for everyone around you beyond the obvious. Don’t forget to include aspects of your life such as investment advisor and purchasing agent. It is quite likely you do that as well if you have input into insurance and retirement or future-college investments. I tend to think of the Professional Mom as the COO or even the CEO of the family business.
- Evaluate all that you have accomplished as a mom.
Take a long minute and dwell on all that you have accomplished in terms of guiding your children through all those before, during and after school programs. How many of you ended up becoming a soccer or T-ball coach simply because no one else would step up to the plate? Do you think that might show initiative, a take charge, self-starter mentality? Do you realize how many employers are looking for you?!
Too many job seekers in my estimation tend to neglect presenting their soft skills (time management, personal motivation, ability to communicate, attention to detail, etc.) during an interview focusing instead on their hard skills. An engineer who ‘does not play well with others’ can become a problem on the job. Of course you will necessarily need to speak to those essential hard skills required of you to get the job but don’t neglect all the people skills associated with the position you are pursuing.
- Determine the transferable skills that become apparent as a result of this exercise.
As you move along in your job search recognize that employers do not necessarily want employees who are capable of doing only one thing really well. They need people who can cross-train throughout a company—especially if you find yourself applying to smaller companies. An intelligent, motivated individual can become the glue that binds the different departments.
- Create your tongue-in-cheek resume.
Your resume, for all intents and purposes, will be similar to anyone else pursuing a like position (Objective Statement, Employment History, Education, etc.) with the exception that after you have posted any previous “real” employment history prior to working at home, you will want to then describe the time you have been a dedicated, Professional Mom with such terms as discussed in item # 1. You might even title the entry: COO (or CEO) The family and estate manager of the Peterson Family Business and then list your responsibilities somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
Here’s the bottom line and the reason for this article. You have to be proud of what you have been doing for the last several years and not allow anyone—man or woman—to look down on you for your having made the choice to stay home.
- Launch your job search.
It’s now time to launch your job search. Remember that HR, hiring managers and business owners are people too. They will get it. For the most part recruiters need to see that you have filled a gap in employment from your previous ‘real-world’ job and today. If after having posted your (home-based) work history on your resume you find that anyone does not see the professional humor in your presentation don’t be afraid to get (within reason) a little defensive. I’m of the opinion your interviewer had a mom too!
Of course you will have a probationary period on the job—all companies require a period of time during which all parties determine if they can all get along but you should have little problem with that. After all up till now you have professionally managed all the facets of a household; made sure all purchasing was done in a timely and efficient manner (the pantry is full); managed a budget and made sure all persons were where they were supposed to be and on time (your significant other and the kids); organized fund raising events and determined highest and best use of those dollars (your volunteer work). You are now taking that experience and moving it to a new environment that will benefit from all that experience.