Help with entering the job market after being a SAHP - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-18-2011, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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My DH has been our stay at home parent since I went back to work when DS was 3 months old. DS is now in school and we need DH to get a full time job. Unfortunately, the job market is really bad in our area, like the rest of country.


What advice would you give for his resume and the huge gap?


His background is retail management (was a store manager for a major video store) and his most recent job was in customer service at a major software employer in our area. This is where I still work (but no job openings), however; it looks great to have worked here on a resume.


Since becoming a SAHD he has side jobs from selling handmade things on eBay and Ren Fairs, helping edit newsletters, business cards, some magazine layouts (volunteer) and doing odd jobs working for relatives like helping them move, painting, mowing... He has plenty of wonderful references that can say he did a fine job and finished the work on time.


The only suggestion I had for him was put that he has been “Self Employed”, rather than not employed/SAHD. And perhaps emphasize the computer oriented tasks, rather than the manual labour “odd jobs” stuff. I believe he wants to find employment back in retail or customer service/call center type place.


I am just not sure. Any advice?


Thank you!




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#2 of 4 Old 05-18-2011, 10:53 AM
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Dear Rhianna,


Great question!  More and more men are stepping into this role - my own husband did the same for 2 years when our children were 4 & 6, and my brother is just starting his journey as a self-employed SAHD. In today's economic reality families have to get creative and this is allowing for some remarkable changes in what have been very traditional gender roles.


While there has been significant attention paid to the challenges for women returning to the employment market after being a SAHM, the reality for men is perhaps even more challenging without the societal support for men being at home with the children.


My gut response to your question is that the first step is for him to be confident in his experience over these past years - how being at home with the children has shaped his sense of self & capacity.  Rather than focusing on this as a huge gap, to be 100% clear for himself on how this time has shaped him as a man.  If he is confident in this experience, potential employers will likely be intrigued rather than concerned...


The reality is that many parents who are at home with the children are also part-time self-employed, and it can be hard to capture the diversity of what he has been doing within the context of a traditional resume format.  I agree that listing himself as self-employed during these years would be a wise choice - and could be interesting to include being a stay-at-home parent there as well?  This alone serves as a positive character reference! 


For example:

2005 - 2011  Self-Employed while serving as primary parent for my son.  In addition to parenting responsibilities, I have continued involvement in the service industry including editing & layout support, sales and marketing, and manual labour.


I encourage others viewing this feed to jump in with their thoughts as well!



Business "Doula


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#3 of 4 Old 05-27-2011, 06:44 AM
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I love this thread - it's comforting to me as I'm in the same position.  I became pregnant last spring and have been out of work and now a SAHM since then (for the most part, happily.  I have a solid work background and a Master degree I worked hard to earn and would love to have a career along with a full home life, though.)


I like the idea of addressing parenthood and my present activities.  (Active in LLL, for example.)  And perhaps touching upon that again in my cover letter.  Good idea, do you think?  My degree is in public policy and I'm looking for employment in university research settings.  I don't know if I'm shooting myself in the foot addressing motherhood or shooting myself in the foot NOT addressing motherhood (because I obviously have a gap too).  And it's funny, since having my son, I've never felt MORE motivated to help provide for my family!  It's as if I'd over come whatever time restraints, sleep issues, whatever could come my way in order to do well in a job, and to be a good example, and earn money, etc., etc.  


Thanks for your help!

Blessed mom (11.10) and wife (5.01-met/12.07-married).  HI!  nocirc.gif  namaste.gif  

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#4 of 4 Old 06-11-2011, 07:26 AM
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Dear Teraze,


I was facilitating a moms group recently and we went around the circle "reintroducing" ourselves, this time including all the juicy things that most of our mom friends don't know about us.  All of these amazing career histories emerged - such a good reminder of the transformation in our work lives that happens for many of us in motherhood.  The things we set aside, and the new paths that emerge...


You have a solid work background and education that you clearly would like to be using, and also feel that call for a balance between career and a full home life.  Given that you're working in public policy, my gut would be that LLL involvement is representative of that realm of work.  Even if you don't address the "gap", they will in the interview! 


One thought, as I typed the word 'gap' above I cringed.  Why is this viewed as a gap?  How can we present our SAHM time as an integral part of our career journey?  As you share, being a mother has made you feel even more motivated in your work setting.




Sarah Juliusson

Business "doula"

Contact me now for a free initial phone consultation!

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