If you have made a decision to be a stay at home mom for any length of time you may think it will be difficult to get back into the workforce because of the time gap in your resume. The truth is, there is no time gap. While you were working day and night as a full time mom you were developing some amazing skills that are highly desirable in today’s workplace. I don’t care how much ‘workplace negotiation experience’ people say they have, you haven’t really lived until you have negotiated with an overly tired toddler.
The key thing is how you present your skills and experiences to potential employers. Words really matter. Saying you helped organise the chocolate fund raising drive at the local pre school is great but is doesn’t help the employer visualise you in a business setting. It would be better to say “developed and executed an innovative fund raising program resulting in record sales revenue” or something along those lines. Using relevant terminology to your industry will make employers see you as a skilled candidate.
Consider the following list of mom skills and the ways in which you could present theses as work skills:
- Time Management & Organisation
Juggled kids, housework, cooking and more – Prioritised key tasks and workloads.
Got kids to school on time, prepared dinner, did shopping – Highly proficient at working to daily, weekly and monthly deadlines.
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Had endless arguments and negotiations with children over food, clothes, bed time and more – Able to effectively use strong negotiation skills to achieve desired outcome within deadline constraints.
Considered the opinions of children, husband, teachers, other parents and still managed to gain consensus – Regularly employ highly developed negotiation skills to ensure all points of view are given consideration and all key parties are held accountable to the agreed outcomes.
See Also Related Post: How to Show You Can Mange Conflict and Negotiate
- Communication & Listening Skills
Offer clear instructions and advice to children, written endless lists and goal sheets etc – Highly developed verbal and written communication skills.
Settled arguments between kids, listened to endless stories and news presentations, explained stories to kids etc – Pay particular attention to key areas of emotional intelligence including listening and empathy to improve the quality of all key relationships.
See Also Related Post: Emotional intelligence – The most important leadership skill
- Multi Tasking
Responsible for young children while also shopping, answering phone calls, hanging washing and more – Prioritise and execute multiple responsibilities at once across a wide variety of tasks.
Dive kids to school, settle arguments in the back seat and go through your mental to do list – Simultaneously perform a variety of key tasks within a limited time frame to meet tight deadlines.
See Also Related Post: How do You Prioritise Multiple Projects
- Networking & Collaboration
Organise mothers group, play groups, play dates – Develop highly effective relationships to assist in the execution of group tasks and project based team work.
See Also Related Post: 5 Proven Ways to Show You Are a Team Player
- Problem Solving
From helping with the kids homework to dealing with everything that goes wrong in the home – Easily able to apply a range of problem solving strategies to any difficult situation to ensure the critical steps of evaluation, analysis, solution creation and testing are all employed to ensure the best outcome.
See Also Related Post – 3 Problem Solving Strategies You Need to be Aware of
Investigated every aspect of your child’s life from vaccination to food recipes, best schools and much more – Thorough and effective research and analytical skills making me able to evaluate a wide variety of data and information and draw the necessary conclusions.
Actively seek references – Talk to your local school teachers, principal, sports coaches, friends in influential positions and ask them for a character reference that highlights your skills and commitment.
Adjust your resume – Stay away from the chronological resume format so you don’t feel you need to constantly explain your time at home. Use a skill based resume format and talk up your life skills s work skills.
Confident not confrontational – Don’t feel the need to apologise for your time at home or explain your decision, be confident in what you have learnt and present a positive, professional you.
Remember you have developed an enormous number of desirable workplace skills in your role as mom and you have managed to execute them all whilst you were largely sleep deprived. The key is presenting your skills the right way to make the employer see you as a highly capable candidate not just a mom.