Returning to work or your career after a long break to have children can be tough. It can cause you to reevaluate your career choices. Often, becoming a parent can make us change our values and what we want from our jobs. We may decide that we are no longer interested so much in money but the quality of life that the position can provide. The work-life balance, giving the ability to leave our work at our desk and come home and give our undivided attention to our families, might be more important to us.
It may well be that you did not feel able to do that in your old career, and now that your life has changed, you need to make a change. To that end, you will want to explore the route that you will be taking as you go forward in your career journey.
Being a new mother may well put restrictions on when and where you can work. You may find that your old job is not suitable anymore and that a career change will serve you and your family best.
However, changing jobs after a long time in another position can be difficult. Or, if you have left work to bring up a baby, you may feel a bit out of touch with the career market on your return to work. You may feel lost or confused about the route that you can take. Changing to a new career path can be daunting. You may lack confidence in your abilities. There are ways forward that will help you find a fulfilling career path that will suit your new lifestyle.
Finding Out the Available Options
You may already have an idea of the kind of career that you want to move into, or you might just know that you need a change. The first thing that you need to do is some research into the options. It can be easy to conclude that you cannot make a change in your career. Don’t be put off, you can and will be able to do it.
There are many great career websites available that have personality tests to suggest several jobs that you may be well suited to. From there, you can see what is available in terms of training and job opportunities within this field.
The internet offers many flexible opportunities when it comes to providing training; for example, you may want to consider Online FNP programs if you were interested in a career in nursing. Often, online courses can be done part-time, meaning that you can manage to do these while you are looking after a small child. You may find that life gets a bit busy for a while until you have got some qualifications under your belt. However, it can be beneficial if you do want to leave the career you are in currently.
Have a search for all of the job sites. See what jobs are out there, and get an idea of the desired qualifications and experience levels are for that position. You may also be able to get a good idea of where the salary lies in comparison to your current job.
Working Out Your Transferable Skills
One of the major areas that people struggle when it comes to finding a new career path is feeling confident selling themselves to get a job in a sector that they have no experience of. This can cause significant confidence issues, and talking yourself up may become a challenge when you don’t believe that you can do something.
Fear not! This is natural; after all, you have probably given years of your life to developing a set of skills. It can be scary to think that you will be looking to start a job in a new sector without any experience. You can, however, overcome these areas that you lack confidence in.
Working out the areas of your current skill set that you can sell yourself on is essential. For example, you may have been a retail manager for many years, but you would like to switch to a career as a counselor. The need for training aside, you will probably have excellent interpersonal skills. The chances are that you have moved up the ranks by giving exemplary customer service. You will have had to deal with difficult and unhappy customers at times. Added to that, your team will have had problems over the years. There may have been times when you have had to deal with underperforming staff members. You might have needed to have conversations with them that were challenging. Motivating others takes another set of communication skills too. And, at other times, you may have had to offer support for a team member who was in a time of crisis. As a retail manager, your job was not just running a shop. You were somebody that handled complex situations with a range of people. And those are things that are critical when it comes to working as a counselor. You will need to go achieve a qualification. But, when you do apply for your courses and future roles, you will have your communication skills to help you.
Make a list of any relevant transferable skills. You should also try and think about a few really good examples of when you have used these skills to achieve something great. Try and remember what you did, how you did it, and what you achieved. These points will be useful to refer to later on in your recruitment journey.
Don’t forget, being a parent will give you lots of life skills that your previous job roles could not offer. Don’t be afraid to draw on these in your application.
Applying for A New Career
A blank application form or empty resume might be a very daunting thing. You may well know how to create a winning example of a resume for your current, or most recent industry. However, your new sector will be looking for something else. You may worry that your current or most recent position will stand out like a sore thumb because it is completely up the wrong street for your new career angle. You should not worry too much about this fact. Remember that your life and career experience is valid. It will have shaped your work ethic. You will have gained transferable skills, and you need to focus on these in your application.
Be upfront about your motivations for change; this will help the recruitment manager out and will give them a better understanding of the reasons for your applications. If you have been out of work and looking after a young child, recruiters will understand this.
At all points, you need to be fully honest about your experience levels. Don’t be inclined to exaggerate or lie in your application. This is likely to come and haunt you and is not the way to get any job.
The Interview Process
Hopefully, you will get invited for an interview for a role in a new sector. It may well be many years since you last had a job interview, and as such, it can be nerve-racking. The way to get over your nerves about the interview is to prepare extensively for it. Often, it is hard to know precisely what you may be asked, but you can make some educated guesses as to some of the questions that you may end up facing.
Read the job description in preparation. Have a look at the type of person that they are looking for in the role. There are likely to be questions to see how you match up to that criteria.
Do some reading up on commonly used interview questions. For each item, firstly try and come up with a couple of different answers. Write them down. You should always respond to a question with a strong example that gives weight to your reply. You may be asked about working towards targets. To this question, you should provide examples of times when you have done that. Include some information about what type of goals they were, what you did to achieve them, and what you achieved by doing that.
You need to see all of the questions that you get asked as an opportunity to tell a story from your career history. Pick the stories wisely, though; you will always want to be sure that you come across well in all of your examples.
Another critical area of research will be to find out as much about the company that you are applying to. You will need to know about the history of the company, who is behind it as well as information about its size and competitors.
Try and find out about the working culture. In your interview, they will be sizing you up to see if you are their kind of person. They will want you to fit in with their way of doing things. If you can find out how they operate, this may be helpful. You may find this information out through websites such as Glassdoor, that feature employee reviews, and experiences to help future applicants such as yourself.