How to Re-enter the Workforce After Being a Stay at Home Parent

Many parents choose to put their careers on hold once they have a child, either because it proved more affordable than childcare, or simply because that’s what works best for their family. After all, according to a survey undertaken by Flexjobs, 34% of stay at home parents left a manager-level or higher job to stay at home with their child. 

In either case, as your child grows older, returning to your career starts to become more feasible. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy decision to make. Industries move on with time and depending on how long you’ve been out of the workforce, you might struggle to find a foothold in your old career. If so, don’t worry. There are things that you can do to get back into the swing of things at a pace suitable for your family.

First of all, don’t feel like you have to return to the same career path as you’d left. Many formally stay at home parents choose to enter another field entirely. This can be because reentering your field years later and potentially being forced into an entry level position can be disheartening. But often, people find that their aspirations have changed during those years outside the workforce. 

If you left work because it wasn’t flexible enough for your new circumstances, for example, you may find yourself looking for work that you can do from home, or that you can do part-time. Some parents find that freelance work is ideal for them, as it allows them the freedom they need and can be as low or high pressure as they like. 

However, some parents were highly trained and well established professionals who are looking to restart work in that same field. Remember that, while you might not have worked for a while, your skills and qualifications haven’t vanished completely. Not only that, but your old connections are still there, just waiting for a phone call. 

All the hard work that you did years ago doesn’t have to go to waste, neither do the years spent learning new skills while caring for your family. After all, you’ve had to take care of someone completely dependent on you, while solving problems, multi-tasking, and managing your time strictly. Don’t sell yourself short. 

As well as networking with people face-to-face, the internet is a fantastic place to find work in every industry. For example, rheumatology job search boards can find you work in that specific field, so you can make sure that your years of training and experience don’t go to waste. 

However, be realistic with your expectations. Some employers might not be so understanding, so face their concerns and issues head on. Work out your needs and your employer’s expectations early on, as tying yourself into a contract that isn’t right for you can be a major problem. Also, it may take some time to get work, but remember to keep your options open and your head held high.

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