Looking for a job is not an easy task on its own. Let alone going back to the market after staying at home for a while to focus on our children.
The question then arises: How to update my CV after being away from the market for such a long time?
The majority of women that come to my practice are mothers who decided - for different and valid reasons - to take a career break to fully focus on their children for some time and that would like to return to the workforce.
Many times, women who have been out of the market for a while find it difficult to
sell themselves and after staying at home with the kids find it more challenging to list their professional skills.
With base on my experience*, a lot of mothers lack confidence on their professional skills, despite having been praised professionals before putting their jobs on hold.
But let’s focus the following: after becoming a mother you gain more responsibility, you mature. All of a sudden, your whole life changes – yes, 9 months don’t prepare you enough for the big change that comes – your body changes, everything around you change.
With this transformation and growing responsibility you have to develop skills to tackle the new challenges. You go through new experiences every day which test both your mental and physical limits.
The problem lays in the fact that most women disregard this change as something positive. Mothers do not become “dumb” as I hear it many times. Mothers become… awesome!
So, do you wonder what you have to offer? My advice is to start with some introspection about yourself. This will give you a head start:
Make a list of all the skills you have gained in the last few years and how you developed these. Some examples of skills that my clients come up with are: time-management, endurance, patience, multitasking, organization skills, etc. (I could go on, but for the sake of your limited time I will stop here).
Besides becoming awesome – which, let’s face it, can be hard to sell on its own! - think about any soft skills you have gained during this time.
What kind of experiences did you go through? What were the cons of staying at home with your kids and not focusing on your career? What kind of adversities/challenges did you face? How did you overcome these?
2. Think about any extra activities that you have performed while staying at home with your children. Perhaps you did voluntary work, or contributed to the community in other ways? Maybe you took some courses or read some books? Or even self-taught yourself something you never thought about before?
Sit down and write everything extra you have done during this time off work.
3. Make a list of your professional qualities, both technical and soft skills.
What are your strengths as a professional? Try to recall specific situations in which you had to put these into use. What was the outcome?
I hope this will give you a head start and that you enjoy focusing on your strengths! Feel free to share your progress on https://www.facebook.com/Multipathscoaching/ in the comments section.