Are you a stay-at-home mom going back to work? If so, you’re in good company! While the road to employment can be tough, it is possible with the right knowledge. This guide discusses the challenges and wins that stay-at-home moms experience as they transition into a working environment.
Women in the Workplace
According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, moms of minors make up 72.4% of the labor force. Of this number, those with children aged 6 to 17 years are 77%, those with under 6 years old are 66.4%, and those with children under 3 years are 63.8%. Being part of the workforce is also higher among unmarried moms at 78.2%, compared to married mothers, who have a labor participation rate of 70.1%.
In terms of occupation and industry, 51.8% of the female workforce are in professional, management, and similar occupations. The demographic spread is various across industries too, with 74.8% in education, 52.6% in financial services, 51.2% in leisure and hospitality, 29.4% in manufacturing, and 24.1% in transport and utilities among others.
In March 2021, around half a million women rejoined the U.S. labor force, though some struggle getting back in due mostly to ongoing child care duties and resume gaps. The pandemic has also shifted moms’ priorities when it comes to work attendance, with many preferring to do it from home instead. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies embracing the “new normal” way of doing business, making transitioning from stay-at-home mom to working mom somewhat easier.
Working Moms’ Guide To Returning To The Workforce
Here are five tips that stay-at-home moms need to know as they transition into the workforce again:
1. Prepare for a different workplace.
When you stay at home, your workplace is wherever your kids are. But when you go back to work, your office goes wherever your desk does. This means you’ll have to adapt to the pace of working in an office again. You also need to make sure you stay on top of your inbox, turn off personal phone alerts for work (if needed), and get used to a different set of office etiquette.
2. Become comfortable with technology.
More stay-at-home moms are picking up technology skills to stay relevant in their profession. Make sure you stay on top of the newest systems, like learning how to use social media marketing effectively or using online collaboration tools for work projects.
3. Work on finding balance while at work.
It is possible to work and stay connected to your kids. Make sure that you are updated on what they’re doing throughout the day, maintain communication with their daycare workers or caregivers, and stay open with your kids about what’s going on at the start or end of the day.
4. Prepare your family for the changes.
Talk to your spouse, child’s caregivers, and child about the changes in your schedule to ensure that everybody is on board. Let them know that you will be communicating with them more often while you’re at work. If you’re working from home, setting boundaries for work and personal time will help ensure both home and office goals are met.
5. Brush on your industry knowledge and skills.
Employers might hesitate to hire when they see a long gap in your resume. If you show that you’ve managed to stay updated on industry trends, you’ll have a better chance of getting in and coping with the workload later.
Explore Companies For Working Mothers
Find a company that works with you, not against you. In recent years, progressive companies have focused more attention and resources on gender diversity—or, the fair representation of genders.
In effect, companies have allotted more assets to hiring women across all job levels to increase diversity.
Even more, these socially-conscious companies have integrated incentives and perks for working mothers like generous paid-time-off and professional development opportunities.
Take a look at these top companies for working mothers that will make your transition into the workforce a breeze.
Best Companies for Women in the Workplace
Work at a company that champions gender diversity with comprehensive initiatives!
Research more best companies for women in the workplace.
Best Companies for Work-Life Balance ️
Balance motherhood and your professional growth with a company that advocates a positive work-life balance.
Find more best companies for work-life balance.
Best Companies for Remote Work
Don’t miss out on precious milestones with these companies that have remote work benefits that are perfect for stay-at-home moms thinking of going back to work.
Learn more about these best stay-at-home mom-friendly companies for remote work.
Best Companies for Diversity and Inclusion
Stay-at-home moms can seamlessly settle back into the labor force with a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Review these companies dedicated to having a diverse and inclusive workplace.
In the next section, we discuss top benefits for parents that will make your return to the office a dream.
Top Benefits for Stay-at-Home Moms Returning to Work
Reap the benefits of your hard work. Employee benefits are a hot topic amongst human resource professionals and company employees.
Employee benefits are a wide range of perks and office goodies that make office life more fun! In addition, they are not associated with compensation. In other words, think free catered lunches, carpool reimbursement, and half-day Fridays.
All in all, employee benefits are created to improve company culture and increase employee morale.
Additionally, employee benefits are advantageous for new parents and stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce. Keep these top benefits for parents in mind when researching your next job position:
Working mom’s guilt is a common manifestation of women returning to the workforce. Nevertheless, anxiety about going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom can be relieved with telecommuting benefits! With the right telecommuting tips, working from home with a child can be done successfully. It allows working mothers to be present for significant milestones.
With a growing family, it is important to consider the potential needs of your growing child. Eye care? Dental plan? Health insurance? Determine your family’s needs and adjust your expectations accordingly. At the end of the day, a healthy family is a happy family.
Flexible work schedule
Work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning with a new child to care for. Between pediatric appointments and school events, a flexible work schedule can be beneficial to balance the chaos. Look for an employer that understands the complexities of parenthood and allows ample flexible work hours.
The return to the workplace can be a difficult transition especially for stay-at-home moms who are just starting to reenter the industry after a long lull. Nevertheless, employee benefits ease the uneasiness and leave working moms — and their kids — happy!
Preparation Tips For Stay-At-Home Moms Reentering The Workforce
You can’t win the battle without the right weapons and armor. Here are some things to consider:
Refresh Your Industry Knowledge
Mind the gap. A common obstacle that working mothers will run into — especially with hiring managers — is their employment hiatus.
Albeit, you can chalk this much-needed time-off with your newborn, a hiring manager may see it otherwise. With this in mind, it is beneficial to refresh your industry knowledge. Take advantage of workshops, conferences, classes, and certifications to stay active in the industry.
Through these avenues of knowledge acquisition, working moms can gain valuable work experience, build their professional network, and refresh their resumes with valuable skills.
In the end, this demonstrates that you’ve stayed active in the industry, and have the necessary means to jump feet first into the workforce.
Revise Your Professional Resume
Take the time to revise your professional resume. It may seem redundant to revise your resume after a long hiatus. Nevertheless, an introduction of new skills and experiences acquired through conferences, classes, and certification can be exactly what you need to impress the hiring manager.
In fact, a fresh addition of unique resume skills beyond the basics like “MS Excel proficiency” or “foreign language fluency,” can be beneficial. Refer to the chart below for a handful of soft skills to improve your resume.
Resume Skills to Impress the Hiring Manager
- Conflict Resolution
- Critical Thinking
- Interpersonal Skills
- Organizational Proficiency
- Attention to Detail
- Work Ethic
- Analytical Skills
- Time Management
Prep for Interview Day
Be prepared for anything! There are a plethora of interview guides available to prepare you for common and industry-specific interview questions. However, few clarify how to explain gaps in employment for stay-at-home moms.
What is the gap of time on your resume?
To start, answer this question truthfully. Typically, hiring managers will verify the details that you share in an interview and will discover discrepancies.
Next, address the issue in a direct and forthright manner. In other words, don’t respond apologetically but with confidence. In addition, emphasize any classes or workshops that you have taken a part in to stay active in the industry.
Execute these steps with confidence and enthusiasm to make a strong case for why you are the best candidate for the position.
Find a Support Group
At the end of the day, other former stay-at-home mothers are your best confidant. Create lasting friendships, exchange valuable job search information, and find support for life’s hardest working mother moments.
Don’t know where to start?
Start your search for a working mom support group below, and find your tribe.
- Facebook. There’s a group for everything on Facebook. Use a strategic search term like “working moms in Phoenix, Arizona” to find a community near you.
- Meetup.com. Join conferences and mommy meetups at Meetup.com — the ultimate meeting place for various niche groups.
- Mommy blogs. Inevitably, you may have read a mommy blog — or three — to find support for issues unique to motherhood. Find like-minded women through simple searches, or start your own mommy blog community for working professionals.
Being a stay-at-home mom going back to work can be difficult! Nonetheless, it is an achievable goal with the appropriate tools and resources.
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