A mother's guide to getting back into the workforce

From self-assessment to balancing work and family, navigate your journey confidently.

A mother's guide to getting back into the workforce

Thursday November 02, 2023,

4 min Read

In today's dynamic job market, returning to work after taking a break to focus on motherhood can be a daunting task. However, with the right strategy and mindset, it is entirely possible to re-enter the workforce successfully. 

This comprehensive guide will provide you with actionable steps, tips, and insights to help you navigate this exciting journey.

Understanding the challenge

Returning to work after a period of caregiving can feel overwhelming. You might worry about the gap in your resume, the fast-paced changes in your industry, or the balance between family and career. It's important to acknowledge these challenges and understand that they are common for mothers re-entering the workforce.

Self-assessment and goal-setting 

Evaluate your skills and interests

Before you start your job search, take some time to assess your skills, strengths, and interests. Reflect on your previous work experiences and consider what you enjoyed most.

Set clear career goals 

Establishing clear career goals is crucial. Decide on the industry, job role, and work environment that you aspire to. Setting specific, measurable, and achievable goals will guide your job search and keep you motivated.

Updating your resume and online presence 

Revise your resume 

Your resume is your ticket to landing interviews. Tailor it to highlight your skills and experiences that are relevant to your target job. Emphasise any volunteer work, freelancing, or courses you've taken during your career break.

Enhance your LinkedIn profile

In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is essential. Update your LinkedIn profile with a professional photo, a compelling headline, and a well-written summary. Connect with former colleagues and industry professionals to expand your network.

Skill enhancement and training 

Invest in continuous learning 

To stay competitive in your field, consider enrolling in courses or workshops that offer relevant skills and knowledge. Online platforms like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses that you can complete at your own pace.

Networking and workshops 

Attend industry-related events, webinars, and workshops to build your network. Networking can lead to valuable job opportunities and insights into your desired field.

Job search strategies 

Use job search engines 

Utilise job search engines like Indeed, LinkedIn Jobs, and Glassdoor to find job openings. Set up job alerts to receive notifications for relevant positions.

Leverage professional organisations 

Join professional organisations related to your field. These associations often have job boards, networking events, and resources to support your job search.

Preparing for Interviews 

Practice mock interviewing with a friend or career coach. This will help you build confidence and refine your interview skills.

Addressing resume gaps 

During interviews, be prepared to discuss your career break openly and confidently.

Emphasise the skills and experiences you gained during that time.

  1. Balancing work and family 
  2. Flexible work arrangements 
  3. Consider flexible work options such as remote work, part-time positions, or freelance opportunities to balance your family responsibilities with your career.

Support systems 

A robust support system is indispensable for women endeavouring to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus. Whether it's a sabbatical for motherhood, personal reasons, or any other life event, the transition back can be riddled with challenges both emotional and logistical.

Friends, family, mentors, and even professional networks play a pivotal role during this phase. They not only offer emotional encouragement but can also provide practical assistance, such as childcare solutions, networking opportunities, or even simple advice on updating a resume.

Additionally, joining support groups or communities of women with similar experiences can offer invaluable insights, shared experiences, and a sense of camaraderie. In this journey, having a circle of trust and encouragement can make the difference between feeling overwhelmed and confidently navigating the path back to a fulfilling career.

Lean on your support system—family, friends, and childcare providers—for assistance with childcare and household tasks.

Remember, every mother's journey back to the workforce is unique. Embrace your experiences, lean on your strengths, and always believe in your ability to thrive both as a professional and a mother. You've got this!