The New Mother's Guide to Going Back to Work

So, you're planning on going back to work after taking a break to look after your growing family? Great! Here are a few guidelines that you can follow while you're on hiatus to keep your game up and make the transition smoothly when the time is ripe for you to rejoin the workforce. 

Follow industry news.

Just because you're not working now doesn't mean you should allow yourself to fall behind in keeping tabs on what's happening in your chosen industry. Sign up for a free industry-based newsletter or read periodicals and newspaper sections that cover industry news to stay in the know. You don't have to be aware of every new development; just skimming the headlines and learning about major events should be enough. 

Brush up on your professional skills

This could be as simple as taking related classes or enrolling in a certification program to keep your skills honed and to acquire new skills that you will need once you start working again. 

Do volunteer work.

Be selective in which type of volunteer work you undertake to make sure it adds value to your resume and skills. Choose activities and causes that would benefit you in your work, such as fundraising for a substantial financial amount to buy new play equipment for your child's school; such experience can later be promoted as skills in generating sales or donations. 

Network, network, network!

Never underestimate the power of social networking! Keep in touch with colleagues, business contacts and social acquaintances; you never know when one of them will help you find a good job offer. 

Review your resume

Make sure you include all your experience to date, making note of any new skills or certification you gained during your hiatus. If your resume still looks empty, consider rearranging it into a functional resume format as opposed to a chronological one. Doing so downplays dates and lists your skills by category, such as supervisory, research, problem solving and team building. 

Keep your expectations realistic

Chances are things have changed since you were last working. The work environment might have become more demanding or competitive, so keep your expectations realistic and understand that you might not be able to get the package you had in mind.

Realize your true value.

Many employers value mothers as great multi-taskers, and consider them far more mature and serious than other job candidates. Capitalize on your unique skills and experience and let it translate into confidence.