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Tips for Returning to the Workplace After Raising Your Family

Updated: May 15, 2020

Are you looking to re-enter the workforce after being home to care for your family? It is difficult at any age to initiate a new career but when you are over 50 or 60, there are particular challenges. Resumes are not our grandma's resume, technology feels like it is moving at lightning speed and 3'rd graders can often run circles around many of us on a tablet or computer! 

Here are some best practices to transfer your experience as CEO at home to the workplace.

1) Focus on your skill set: You have been running the household, implementing processes and ensuring your home runs as smoothly as any fortune 500 business. Are you organized and always the one helping friends with their homes? Did you plan every social outing or volunteer for every event? Do you manage the family budget and know how to get the best deals when planning a vacation, shopping, phone and cable plans? Include in your resume the skills you use to run your household and focus on how those skills ADD VALUE to the position you are seeking.  Make sure you speak to the IMPACT of those skills.  Remember, your skills as a stay at home mom translates well at the office. You just need to explain HOW they benefit the business!

2) It’s all about who you know: We have all heard NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!! That might seem obvious but you really need to tell EVERYONE you are looking to re-start your career outside of the home.  Whether you are meeting with your social group, at the store or having your car serviced, everyone should know your intention. Travel “resume ready” so you are prepared to hand it out on moment’s notice! Don’t be afraid to go deep into your social media contacts. Even if you haven’t talked to someone in years, if they work in a field of interest to you, reach out to them. People feel good about helping others and if an old friend can help make that connection, they might feel more self-satisfaction than you realize.

3) Certifications, Training Seminars and Webinars: You may not want to take the time or money to finish that undergrad or graduate degree, however, you will find that certifications can provide you with a wealth of knowledge and qualify you for many of positions. Include on your resume training seminar or technology web programs you completed to demonstrate your desire to learn and willingness to take action.

4) Your cover letter gives your introduction and your resume explains your skills: A powerful cover letter is concise, grabs the reader’s attention and clearly states your goal such as requesting an interview. Your resume, however, explains your experiences, skills, education and certifications but EMPHASIZE your accomplishments.  5) Intern at any age: Interning is a great way to get experience in a field that interests you. This allows you to get your foot in the door and boost your resume. You might have to work unpaid initially but there is no better way to truly learn a job than to work in that position. If there is not an internship position open for a particular company, reach out to them and propose one to the employer. 

6) Informational Interview: Request an informational interview with companies you have an interest in pursuing. You can potentially make a connection with someone or they might find you to be a perfect fit for someone else. The more opportunities you have to meet with hiring managers, the more exposure you get. It’s also a great way to practice your interview skills! 

Identify what you have contributed to your household, kids’ schools and the community to write a powerful cover letter and compelling resume. Fine tune your skills by taking classes or completing certification programs and be sure to leverage your network to land that perfect job for this new phase of your life!

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