Whether you're going back to work to help support your family or your kids are off to school and you have more time on your hands, re-entering the workforce can be intimidating after you've taken time off to raise your kids. Industry changes, gaps in your resume and rusty skills can leave you feeling less-than during the interview process. But by looking for work in your field and using volunteerism to help bolster your resume, you can find the ideal job as a retiring stay-at-home mom.
Working from Home
If you still have younger children at home, a work-at-home job may be the ideal balance between family and your career. While there are scams for paid online work, survey-taking and other too-good-to-be-true opportunities, work in the fields of virtual assisting, tutoring, freelance writing, medical billing and coding, customer service and even graphic design can often be done from the comfort of your home. The FTC warns that you should always ask questions about your first paycheck, the necessary supplies and equipment and ask for references from other employees before you sign on with a work-at-home opportunity. Look specifically for jobs that list "telecommuting" as one of the benefits and with the proper equipment, you could dedicate some of your home time to a new career.
Starting a Business
If you've always had a knack for party planning or love taking care of kids, your career may be one that you make yourself. Starting a small business might give you the flexibility you need to care for your family and bring in a paycheck. Think about your natural skills and whether or not someone would pay you for those skills. You'll also need to read up on getting a business license, adhering to state regulations and paying taxes as a small business owner. By doing your homework, you could soon be the proud owner of your own business in a career where you're the boss.
Review your resume and see what type of positions you held before you became a stay-at-home mom. They could be the key to unlocking a new career as you re-enter the workforce. If you used to work in accounting, for instance, taking a couple of accounting courses could prime you to get back into your old career. Or, utilize your old co-workers and other professional contacts, suggests Forbes. You may be surprised at how simple it is to reconnect with old bosses and coworkers to jump start your career in a field where you're already comfortable and successful.
One way to transition into a new career is through volunteerism. If you're unsure of your skills or employability, volunteering in a field that you enjoy could easily transition you into a paid career. Even if the organization for which you volunteer doesn't hire you for a paid position, the work gives you much-needed experience for your resume. If you volunteer at your children's school, for instance, you may be eligible for an administrative position in the front office when it becomes available -- or at least be able to add administrative and organizational work to your resume to help you get a job in another office.
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