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Returning to Work
Having been a former Recruitment Consultant for 10 years (here is my LinkedIn profile), I have seen many parents struggle with returning to work after having a baby or being a stay at home parent. So put your feet up, grab a coffee, and pick up some pointers.
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5 tips to make returning work after being a stay at home parent easier
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EMOTIONS
So you’ve probably thought this through. You’ve had a dozen or two conversations with yourself and your partner about it. You’re ready. Now what? If you have a job that you’re returning to, then consider yourself very lucky. Returning to the workforce after some time as a stay-at-home parent can sometimes be difficult. Returning to work after a lengthy stay-at-home career can be quite daunting. We go through so many emotions when making such decisions – and rightly so. That’s your baby. Those are your children – and you only want what’s best for them. I get it, and it’s totally fine to feel that way. Acknowledge it and keep going.
TELL YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK
Is your support network in place? Make sure you let your parents and friends know that you are returning to work and looking for a job. It is important to make sure that, as you begin (or even before) job hunting, you should already have someone who can look after your child in case you are successful and are offered a job straightaway.
FIND APPROPRIATE CHILDCARE
Finding childcare for your little one can be quite an emotional task. There is no one else in the world who can look after you baby like you to. But you are returning to work and it’s time to be think about this. So, what are you looking for?
Enrolling children in childcare centres is a very common choice among new parents.
- Important social and emotional skills are developed from being with other children and adults.
- Your child learns to cope with separation.
- Structured schedules mean that your child learns to recognise when things need to be done and where. For example, eating should be done at the table.
- Some childcare centres have a bespoke curriculum developed for children of specific ages, encouraging early language development and literacy.
- Your parenting style is very likely to differ from the style of a large centre.
- The child to adult ratio may not be what you would hope with often 1 adult to 5 children under two years old.
- Your child is exposed to more people, so children in childcare centres tend to develop colds and such illnesses more often.
- The wait list can be quite long. Often, parents are advised to put their child on a wait list as soon as they are born.
- Your child is a home environment, that is likely very similar to yours.
- Your child is exposed to less people and such, is also exposed to less illnesses.
- In-home Educators are allowed four children, with a maximum of two being under two years old. This means that your child will learn how to develop relationships with both older and younger children.
- It is possible that the activities, that your child is exposed to, can be quite limited.
- Depending on the rules of your child minder’s home, your child may be exposed to more television than necessary.
IDENTIFY YOUR SKILLS & UPDATE YOUR CV / RESUME
As you have now decided on returning to work. You need to update your CV / Resume.
Take a pen and paper and consider your skill set. Think about the last job that you had (whether than was one year ago – or five, or ten). Jot down what skills you have and what skills you have gained over your time away.
Writing your skills down allows you to have something tangible to refer to. You’ll be surprised how many moms fail to consider the many skills they have gained whilst away from the corporate workforce.
Write a good CV to highlight what you have done and what you have been doing. You can also get a CV writer to help you. (Excuse the shameless plugin – I am also a freelance writer!)
SIGN UP WITH A RECRUITMENT AGENCY
Network, network, network! I know, I know… it’s such a cliche. But it’s true. The more people you tell that you are now open to returning the workforce, the greater the chances you have to securing a job. People love to help people. It’s in our nature.
I would suggest signing up with one or two recruitment agencies – particularly if you’re in an agency driven environment like Wellington.
Recruitment Agencies have the right connections, so they are the ones that you need to speak to. The bonus to having a recruitment consultant act on your behalf, is that they can tell the employer what you don’t have the opportunity to if you were to just send an application online.
For example, if you were to apply to an online job board like SEEK or Trade Me Jobs, an employer can sift through a CV without consideration of a person’s situation. If they see that you’ve been a stay-at-home parent for five years, chances are, you won’t be successful in even being called in for an interview.
Now, if you have a Recruitment Consultant representing you; they have the ability to challenge an employer’s thoughts.
If your consultant were to submit your CV / Profile to an employer, and that employer raises the “issue” of you having been a stay-at-home parent for five years – then your Consultant can challenge that and say something along the lines of “yes that’s true; however, I have recently met with Jane; and trust me, she is definitely someone that you should meet.” Even something as simple as that can help you get your foot in the door. Recruitment Consultants have strong relationships with their clients; and as we know, strong relationships are built on trust. So if an employer trusts their consultant, you have a greater chance of meeting that manager for a coffee.
Here are some of the Top Agencies in Wellington that I would recommend:
- Madison Recruitment – I have had the opportunity of working with Madison as a Senior Consultant. Believe me when I say that their consultants care. Madison, as their tag goes, are people people. Madison is a New Zealand owned and operated business; and they have a very strong brand across the country. If you are looking for work in the areas of Business Support and Administration or Call Centre and Customer Service, then you definitely should register with them.
- Randstad – Having also worked with Randstad, I know their company culture and values. They’re a great agency to align with particularly if you are looking for work in the areas of Accounting & Finance or IT.
Here are some agencies around the world
- Randstad – once again, being a global brand; I would definitely recommend them. Randstad operates in 39 countries – chances are, one of those countries is yours!
- Hudson – Hudson also has a strong brand in New Zealand. They operates in offices across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
Need some inspiration, read THIS.
So there you have it! 5 things to consider when returning to work after maternity leave. Good luck! And if you have any questions at all, please leave me a comment xo