Here is what I have learnt on my job seeking journey & I hope it makes yours a little bit easier:
1 - Make sure you are 100% ready to jump back on the front lines – this decision is for you to make with your family, so give yourself time to think it through. Everyone in your family will need to adjust so it’s a decision that shouldn’t be rushed. You’ll need to arrange childcare. Make sure you take the time to research the options that are available to you. Some early childhood centres will have waiting lists or trial periods so it’s best to contact the centres directly for all the information you require. That way you can prepare and put a plan in place for when the job offers start rolling in!
2 - Have a supportive team around you, trusted people you can rely on to assist with childcare emergencies, duties and drop off’s/pick up’s. This will give you peace of mind, so you can focus on the work at hand. If a relative or friend will be caring for your child, make sure they have access to your child’s essentials like their car seat, stroller or high chair and that they know how to install & use them correctly. Having a traveller on hand can be a great solution for when baby needs to nap away from home.
3 - The internet is your friend. Employment agencies, job websites, guides on how to re-fresh your resume or CV, interview techniques – it’s all at your fingertips. Put it to good use and start your job search!
4 - Be flexible! Look for a position or role that best suits your needs. Part time work is a great way to ease back into a “work” schedule or routine. Consider working nights if baby is more settled during this time or even look into working from home if possible.
5 - Be Realistic… it’s all very well & good to be the ambitious, career go-getter you were pre-baby, but being a parent is a HUGE commitment, so give yourself some breathing room! You can always take on more responsibilities once you have settled back into the swing of things. Learning to juggle/balance family and work life can be tricky so don’t make it harder by taking on too much too fast.
6 - Find work you want to do! If you’re passionate about it and enjoy what you do, the transition from home to work will be much easier. Happy at work, happy at home – winning!
7 – Network! Put yourself out there, start with friends or family, past colleagues and co-workers. Let them know you’re on the job hunt so they can get back to you if anything suitable pops up. They can even put in a good word for you – wink, wink, nudge, nudge!
8 - Don’t let rejections get you down. These experiences serve to build character, so always take them as a learning opportunity. Sprucing up your CV, getting into the habit of writing a great cover letter and practising your interview skills is all good – the more experience under your belt, the better!
9 - Being a parent teaches you important life lessons and skills. Time management, organization, patience, determination, hard work, resilience, good judgement – you get the idea. Learn how to maximise the impact of these qualities and strengths in an interview situation. As a parent you’re relentlessly bombarded with all sorts of situations and questions, so learn how to use this to your advantage.
10 - Be confident and have an empowering interview outfit sorted. Ironed, baby-food-stain-free and kept well away from your everyday wear. Know that once you put this outfit on, you mean business. It is all too easy to get caught up in the convenience and practicality of sweats and a t-shirt, when you are constantly having to change due to spills, feeding tantrums and random bits of who knows what. Remember looking good will make you feel good.
You will be back to work before you know it, so make sure you enjoy every moment you can with your little ones, while you have the chance. Then that way, you will have lot’s of stories to share about your babbling, needy bundle of joy with your co-workers over that lunch break!