Transitioning from SAHM to Working Mama...How to get started? - Mothering Forums
Working and Student Parents > Transitioning from SAHM to Working Mama...How to get started?
KatWrangler's Avatar KatWrangler 09:22 AM 06-05-2011

I have to go back to work after being a SAHM for 5 plus years.  greensad.gif How do I get started with my resume?  I do not have a degree, but I do have a HS Diploma.  My background is mainly Customer Service type (call in CS at a Medical Publishing Co, Receiptionist Collections for a Civil Engineer, Collections for BFI etc.)  I do not want to go back to Collections.  I did advertising sales which I loved but I sucked at.

 

So how do I do my resume and explain the 5 plus years lapse? 



FreeRangeMama's Avatar FreeRangeMama 09:56 AM 06-05-2011

I recently went back to work after 10 years at home.  I really highlighted all the other stuff I did while being home with kids.  I ran several playgroups, facilitated support type meetings, child care, etc.  Anything that fit into the customer service category like dealing with people I added.  I also put in my relevant work experience, but it wasn't the focus. 

 

In the interview for my current job I highlighted how I could deal with anything now that I have negotiated sibling wars and dealt with cranky toddlers.  I made my stay-at-home motherhood an asset, I am well versed in dealing with everything at once!  It must have worked as I got the job.

 

I figure it works better to highlight what you HAVE been doing in recent years (even though it isn't paid work) as opposed to focusing on the work you did before.  I googled resume templates that would allow me to do this in the most effective way.

 

Good luck with your job search!  I hope you find something you enjoy  :)


Peony's Avatar Peony 11:38 AM 06-05-2011

I was at home for just about 7 years before returning to work. I didn't go into great detail about my lack of work during that time. I did volunteer extensively while I was a SAHM so I detailed that. 


KatWrangler's Avatar KatWrangler 01:11 PM 06-05-2011

What is so frustrating is I can only imagine the pay is gong to be horrible.  By the time I pay daycare, gas, tax, loss of food stamps, I won't make anything. 


indie's Avatar indie 08:28 PM 06-06-2011

I went back a year ago after 7 years. I mentioned it very, very briefly in my cover letter (so they wouldn't assume something worse) and tried to highlight volunteer work on the actual resume so gaps would be filled. I also started back doing temp work first and I think that helped to show I was ready to work and gave me some current references. All that said, the pay for my current job is low. The good thing is I got in with an employer that otherwise has a hiring freeze and even laying off at a time when jobs are really hard to come by. I hope that having my foot in the door will help in the future.


Peony's Avatar Peony 08:54 PM 06-06-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post

I went back a year ago after 7 years. I mentioned it very, very briefly in my cover letter (so they wouldn't assume something worse) and tried to highlight volunteer work on the actual resume so gaps would be filled. I also started back doing temp work first and I think that helped to show I was ready to work and gave me some current references. All that said, the pay for my current job is low. The good thing is I got in with an employer that otherwise has a hiring freeze and even laying off at a time when jobs are really hard to come by. I hope that having my foot in the door will help in the future.



Very similar story here. Low pay for my line of work, but I have enormous flexibility which I had to have with my kids. Some days I barely break even after paying sitters. I am doing what I want to do and someday when I do want to work more ( I work part time), I am already employed and I can more easily find more work within my current place of employment. 


HollyBearsMom's Avatar HollyBearsMom 09:19 PM 06-06-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post

What is so frustrating is I can only imagine the pay is gong to be horrible.  By the time I pay daycare, gas, tax, loss of food stamps, I won't make anything. 

Then I think the question is *why* are you going back to work.

 

If you are doing it to improve your immediate financial status then you need to really run the numbers to see if there is a cost/benefit to working. In many cases what you take home could be eaten by the hidden costs of working. Its not just daycare costs like you said but transportation's costs, potentially having to upgrade your wardrobe, potentially relying on more ready made/packaged foods, etc. 

 

However there are lots of of other "benefits" to working than just the paycheck and the take home pay. Potential medical/dental benefits, potential 401K, building a work experience base so that as your kids grow you can start to build a career which in turn can lead to more $$, more opportunities, building personal credit, networking. Then there is adult interaction, sense of pride in accomplishment, providing for your family financially. Some of these thing might be important to you, other may not.

 

The implications of going back to work is so much more than just money even when the decision is financially based.  It may cost a lot in in the short term but depending on your long term goals it could be worth it.

 

I do agree with the PP tho.  Focus on what you have been doing, not what you haven't.

 

Make sure to do your research on every potential job. What is the company like? The culture? Has any technology changed?

 

Google resumes, resume writing, sample resumes. That will give you good ideas.

 

Monster and the like have lots of great info on interviewing skills.

 

Let everyone you know that you are job hunting- your family, friends, your grocery, your librarian.  Networking can happen anywhere.

 

Get your references in order. Is your old boss still at his job? Co workers? Clients? Let them know too so not only can they network with you  but are prepared to get the call.
 

Good luck!

 


KatWrangler's Avatar KatWrangler 03:12 PM 06-07-2011

I found out the before and after school care is not as expensive as I expected.  It would be $517 a month for Conner and Gabrielle.  Then another $300 plus for Delaney at Head Start.  If we make under a certain $ amount for a family of 5, we would qualify for childcare assistance.

 

I have to go back to work because we can't continue like this (financially speaking).  We desperately need a bigger place with a washer and dryer.  We found one not far from where we are at, but it is a little more expensive than what we are paying now. 

 

So I am closely looking at the numbers.  I am even figuring in the taxes.


Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 07:05 AM 06-08-2011

I think you would do a skills based resume rather than a chronological resume. You may also want to consider college. Central Texas College has a good online program and has several certificates and a few degrees that are completely online, though you will have to find a location locally to take proctored exams. CTC has a list you can try if you have trouble finding a location. I attend there using my MGIB--I've been up since 5 a.m. caffix.gif trying to do my assignments before my school-free children awake.

 

I did a Goggle search for "jobs hunting after gap parenting" (putting "jobs" instead of "job" results in different results)--here are some of the results:

 

How to Rejoin the Outside Workforce after Being a Stay at Home Mom

 

Resume: SAHM returning to work after a gap : Moms to Work

 

8 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents to - Quintessential Careers


KatWrangler's Avatar KatWrangler 07:24 AM 06-08-2011

Thank you!  Off to read the links!


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