I found my first ever disastrous part-time job in Indeed after becoming a stay-at-home mom for 2 years. After only 2 weeks of working, the employer didn’t want to pay me even though I completed his requirements and more than delivered. We actually had to go through an employment dispute agency for me to get my salary. How to find a job after being a stay-at-home mom was really tough. But I digress.
My point is not to discourage stay-at-home moms from looking for a sensible job with a decent salary. My point is, even after all that heartbreaking, confidence-wrecking, extremely harassing and highly discriminating incident, I still managed to find a couple more work and finally landed my current job with a decent salary that allows me to work for only a few hours a day, allowing me to take care of my daughter, cook everyday, handle household chores and still have some time personal time to dream and build my blog.
And if I can do it, what with my at most, mediocre skills but hardworking personality, then I believe every stay-at-home mom can also do it, even if you’ve been one for 10 years or more.
Here are some of my tips on how to find a job after being a SAHM for quite some time:
Update your resume.
This is a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t worked for a year or a decade, no matter what industry you were in or trying to get in, you have to update your resume.
Try to relate your current skills to whatever job you’re looking for. Trying for a sales job but haven’t had any sales experience in years? Think of a scenario in your life as a SAHM that made use of your selling skills. Mention that in your job application letter. You may think that you may not be as competitive as the other applicants but your resume will be surely stand out.
Update your portfolio.
If you need one for your job, update it. I used to be a graphic designer but now I mostly do marketing/ design/ copy/ customer service. I’m not an expert in those 4 jobs but I know enough plus I enjoy doing it. So what I did was, I made a mix of past and made up campaigns in my portfolio website, showcasing my marketing, design and copy skills. I don’t want to be pegged for just one job so I made sure to show potential employers that hey, I can do this and that and I was also explicit in saying that I’d like to apply for jobs that involve the ones that I mentioned.
Read job responsibilities and tailor your application.
I don’t just apply to any job available that seemed to match my skills. I make sure first to read the job responsibilities thoroughly. Then I’ll check if the place is near our house and if there’s any flexible working options. Then I write a job application letter, highlighting what I can do for them, based on my skills then direct them to my portfolio.
Sometimes, I’ll even do samples for them, eg. if I’m applying for a job that involves some copywriting, I’ll write some copy for them. That’s how I got my last few part-time jobs, so it really pays to read the job ad carefully and to tailor your application.
Talk to your partner/ spouse.
I wanted to get a job asap when my daughter went to childcare but I only wanted a part-time job as I want to take care of my child personally and still have the time and energy to handle household chores and such. I’m grateful I have a supportive husband who didn’t really pressure me to go back to work at all immediately.
So talk first to your partner as they may have a different expectation for your working status and may even want you to look for a full-time job to help with never ending expenses. Having a partner who can back you up with your decision will put less strain in your relationship and will make job hunting easier for you, mentally and emotionally.
Consider what you really want.
I only wanted to get a part-time job since my priority is still taking care of my daughter fully. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of mothers who can seem to do it all – work full time hours then rush home to take care of their kids. Some of them don’t even have a helper and do everything on their own and that’s really an admirable trait. But that’s them, that’s not for me.
If I do work full-time, I don’t want to hire a helper as one, I don’t want a stranger in the house and two, I’ve heard enough horror stories about some helpers. So if I do work full-time without a helper, I can already imagine what would be my mental, emotional and even physical state as a full-time working mom. I already had postpartum depression before and I don’t really want to experience that again which I can possibly go through, albeit a different kind of depression, if I do take a full time job without a helper.
Again, we’re all different, this is my personal view and my opinion.
If you think you’ll be able to handle a full-time job, then go for it. If you’re like me and you prefer part-time work, then apply for one.
Don’t listen to other people.
Those who don’t know any better, always think of us stay-at-home moms as having all the free time in the world to do anything we want. They’d assume it’d be easy for us to find a part-time job.
Some will even have their own family pressuring them to find a job asap.
Most will “advice” you to look for a job immediately and put your child in infant care.
Some will try to help and suggest “jobs that are for SAHMS.” If those jobs have more flexible timings, then yes, you can say they can be jobs for stay-at-home-moms but most cases, they’ll say it’s a job for SAHMS just because it involves more physical work and less mental load. As if our job options are that limited just because we became mothers.
A lot of people will think you’re lazy, you’re picky, you’re a failure when you can’t find a job, even a part-time one, for months.
Don’t let them get to you. Don’t listen to them. Do what you think is best for your situation. They don’t know what you’re going through and they can never understand what you feel until they’re standing in your shoes. So don’t ever listen to them. Becoming a mother is already a full-time job itself and we all handle motherhood in our unique ways. Some can handle the stress of a full time job plus taking care of 5 children. Others can barely function with 1 rowdy toddler. Which goes to the next tip.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
It’s not only a tip for looking for a job, it’s a main tip for happiness.
Expect a long job and tedious job hunting process.
I’ve heard of mothers having trouble finding jobs just because they are one but I never truly realize how difficult it is, until I was in that position. I remember during a job interview where the employer asked pointless questions about childcare, about my free time, about my decision to become a mother, and only a few questions about my skills. I remember a rescinded job offer just because I’m married and I might get pregnant. I wasn’t even a mom yet then!
I remember companies who will take advantage by changing the job responsibilities during the interview and saying that they only pay commissions, making you work first with no guarantee of a salary. I remember unresponsive recruiters and employers. Hell, just go back to my first paragraph and that is all you need to know about me finding a job after becoming a SAHM.
The point is, expect all these kinds of bullshit when you’re looking for a job. So just be patient, take your time and just keep searching.
Look at other sources of job opportunities.
I remember applying for a job three times online and getting rejected twice and receiving no updates at all the last time. This was before I met my husband. I really wanted to work for that company so what I did was, I searched for the manager’s name on Linkedin, reached out directly and messaged him my job application. I sent him my resume and my portfolio. Within a week, I got an interview. Two weeks later, I got hired.
The lesson here is, you don’t need to limit your job hunting on popular job websites. Ask family and friends. Check your Linkedin, facebook jobs, newspaper, lesser known job websites, etc. You never know where you’ll be able to find a job, until you try looking in every available platform or community.
Are you currently job-hunting? How is it going? I hope my tips can help you. Let me know of any updates by commenting below.