Transitioning from the realm of a stay-at-home parent to a thriving professional is an intricate journey, marked by the exploration of new roles, balancing family life with the career world, and leveraging transferable skills acquired during the precious moments of being a full-time mom. Here’s what I learned from my Stay-at-Home Mom Career Transition.
My Personal Career Journey
Leaving full-time work
I quit my 9-5 job (working at a tax accountant at a large accounting firm) back in 2011 when my first son was born. I continued to work part-time, but that work dwindled over the years after I had my second and third sons. My biggest professional regret was assuming I’d be a stay-at-home mom forever and consequently ignoring my professional network.
Return to Work after being a Stay-At-Home Mom
I was confident I could save and invest our way out of “needing” to return to work for financial reasons. What I could not foresee: Wanting to work for personal development and impact. I created MoneyFitMoms.com to teach more women about investing and financial planning. My Stay-at-home mom career transition was difficult, but so rewarding. Returning to work has been personally fulfilling. It’s also had a hugely positive effect on my parenting. My kids are so proud of my work and see how happy it makes me. My happiness and career fulfillment inspire them to build their own personally fulfilling careers.
The Decision to Be a Stay-at-Home Parent
Being a stay-at-home parent started with the birth of my first child. It was a little bit daunting, but I embraced the new role with the determination to make it a good fit for my family. The job of a stay-at-home mom was rewarding. Despite the difficulty, I enjoyed watching my young children grow. However, as my children grew and started school, I found myself contemplating a return to the professional career I once had.
Navigating the Employment Gap and Exploring Volunteer Work
The employment gap on my resume was a concern, but it became an opportunity to explore new avenues. Engaging in volunteer work was a good way to ease back into the workforce while maintaining flexibility for the needs of my young children. It was during this time that I discovered the value of my stay-at-home mom life, realizing that the skills acquired in managing a household and taking care of the kids were indeed valuable work experience.
Delving into Part-Time Work and the Corporate World
Part-time work provided a bridge to the corporate world. It allowed me to dip my toes back into a professional career while still having the flexibility to be present for my family. As I navigated through job postings, I realized the importance of finding a good job that aligned with my personal goals and offered the work-life balance crucial for a full-time mom.
Transferable Skills and the Job Search
The skills acquired during my time as a stay-at-home parent were more transferable than I initially thought. Managing a to-do list, multitasking during nap time, and creating a habit tracker for personal goals turned out to be assets in the professional world. These skills are recurring themes in job searches. Any moms returning to work can highlight them in their resume and cover letter when applying to potential employers.
Guidance from a Career Coach
Seeking the expertise of a career coach if often an essential step in this journey. A career coach can help you identify transferable skills, build confidence for job interviews, and provide valuable insights into the dynamics of the corporate world. The job interview process becomes an opportunity to showcase not just your old job experiences but also the unique skills gained as a stay-at-home mom.
Transitioning to a Full-Time Job and Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Transitioning back to a full-time job can create child-care issues. Many mothers find it helpful to start with part-time work first. This allow them to practice balancing the demands of a career and being the primary caregiver. Some prefer to hire child care and transition directly to full-time work. Some mothers may even choose to start a brand new career if they find a perfect job that aligns with their interests and aspirations. Maintaining work-life balance should always be a careful consideration. Balancing the demands of the work with the needs of my family was a challenge, but it reinforced the importance of quality time. Maintaining boundaries between my work time and family time helped me create a fulfilling work-life balance.
Empowering New Moms and Job Seekers
Reflecting on my own career journey has increased my passion for empowering new moms navigating career breaks. Transitioning from a stay-at-home parent to a working mom was difficult, but increased my resilience and helped me learn to embrace change and challenges. I encourage fellow job-seeking moms to explore professional associations, connect with other new moms in the career world, and recognize the value of the skills gained during a career break.
In conclusion, the journey from being a stay-at-home parent back to being a professional is a transformative process. It involves embracing new roles, exploring volunteer work and part-time opportunities, and leveraging transferable skills to secure the perfect job. A commitment to maintaining a work-life balance and the support of a career coach helped me manage the transition. I took the journey slowly and created my redefined my ideas of personal and professional success.