Though it can certainly be a challenging process at times, it isn’t impossible to find a job you will really enjoy. You can have it all as a career mom, and still, make sure you’re meeting your children’s needs and spending time with your family by putting a few tips into practice.
Let’s look at some of those tips and how you can prepare to re-enter the workforce.
Find a Job That Fits Your Needs
As a parent, going back into the workforce may not be as easy as it once was because your needs are different. Some of the most common benefits of a job that parents look for include:
- Healthcare benefits
- Retirement plans
- Childcare options
- Tuition reimbursement
To find that “perfect” job, however, you might have to look beyond your hometown. If you haven’t been working for a while, but you’ve applied for a job that fits your needs and wants, you may need to relocate for it. That’s something that should be discussed with your family, of course, but it’s also important to ask yourself if relocation is worth it. Consider the commute, your financial situation, and how it will impact your family. Some factors to keep in mind as you think about relocating for a new job might be:
- What is the salary/benefits package?
- Is there growth potential?
- What is the schedule?
- What are your responsibilities?
- What is the work environment like?
If your dream job is in a different state or too far away to drive every day, relocation can be exciting. Take a step back to ask yourself and your family some of these hard questions before deciding on whether it’s the best option for you. If you decide not to relocate, it may be worth asking a potential employer if you can work remotely. Many employers are far more open to offering virtual/remote positions than they were before the pandemic.
Your job search can be exciting, but one of the first things you should do is understand your basic rights as a career mom. It’s important to know about the things you do and do not need to disclose to your employer. If you have a disability that might require your employer to install special equipment or a medical condition that requires more time at home, the Americans With Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act can be on your side. Still, you will typically have to prove to your employer that you have conditions that warrant those changes. Most employers will also want to know about things like any criminal history or if you have ever had any professional license revoked.
Strike a Healthy Work-Life Balance
No matter how long you’ve been away from the working world, it can be difficult to change the routine you’ve grown into at home with your children. But, you might also feel as though you have something to prove in the workplace, which can easily turn into a work addiction. That can cause problems like:
- A decrease in productivity
- Impaired judgment
- Poor health
If you decide to go back to work, it’s important to strike a healthy work-life balance. Before you even start a new job, talk to your family about your re-entry into the workforce. One way to make it easier for everyone is to plan ahead as much as possible. Put a blackboard up in your house for important messages, so everyone stays in constant communication. Plan weekly meals and write them down for your kids to see. Print a calendar with everyone’s monthly schedules. Let your family know that you’re still going to be there for them, and then follow through.
Keep in mind that going back to work doesn’t necessarily mean you find a job in the same field as before. As a parent, you might consider a job with more flexibility or even starting your own business that allows you to work at home or set your own hours. If you do, you can outsource some of your projects or even get your family involved in helping you.
Balancing motherhood and a career isn’t impossible. In fact, working mothers make up about about 32% of all employed women in the country. If going back to work is your dream, and you want to follow your passions, let your family be your support system, strike a healthy balance, and don’t be afraid to try something new with your career.
Sam Bowman writes about families, wellness, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for the community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time, he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
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