Do you feel stuck? Do you feel tired, stressed and out of the loop?
Do you feel it is time for change?
But are you struggling to think of what it is you really want? What to do if you have been out of the loop? Would it fit in with the children? Where to find the time to reflect? What if you are not like those other working mums?
Stop!….You can do it. You can change your career and find something that works.
It has been done before, by many of us working mums, and we know you can do it too. You just have to take it step by step. Give it the time it needs, but start today. Start re-inventing yourself today.
‘it is the job that is never started that takes longest to finish’ J.R.R. Tolkien, quoted in the Associated Press
1. Find out what you want
1a) Know your case for action
Find out why things have to change and why you are choosing to work or return to work. These articles can help:
- Returning to Work? Do you really want to? – what are your reasons (for returning) to work?
- Have a bit of fun in this quick quiz: Kids in the Middle - I can work it out by the charity Working Families. It starts your thinking on how far you are from your ideal balance in work, finance, children and partner.
- Do you grieve for your job? You are not alone, as is clearly proven by the number of responses to: ‘Pangs of grief, is it normal’ – on Mumsnet Talk – Topic: Going back to work – July 2010
- The Work Life Balance Workbook - to help you think through your priorities in life, by life coach Anna Meller
1b) Find your passion - Six tried and trusted ways to find your passion
1c) Find life and work options that work for you
2. Find out who you are and what you are good at
2a) Find your personality profile
One of the most used and well-known questionnaire to find your personality profile is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). You can do the questionnaire on your own for only USD 5 on The Personality Page. It does have much more impact if you do it with a qualified coach who can explain each category and what it might mean to you.
2b) Identify your skills - Identify your transferable skills
3. Get your dream job
3b) Writing a winning CV
There are many good quality, free sources on the web on CV writing, and most advice is entirely applicable to working mums and to flexible working. Mum & Career have selected a few:
- Business balls – complete and practical pages on all the details of writing a CV, includes a template and examples
- Capability Jane – top tips on writing a CV for experienced professional women that re-launch their career
- Total jobs career advice – CV advice, examples and templates, some good advice specifically for women on job-hunting
- gov.uk – all the basics, including a template, in one place
- Mumandworking – short and simple cv writing advice, specifically written for mums
- The CV Store – good tips on a CV for Stay at Home Mums, offer a CV-writing service
- CVrite – CV templates, example cover letters, step-by-step on line CV builder, articles and tips on CV writing and job seeking
If you feel you would like some help, just hire a professional, Capability Jane offers a CV-writing service for highly experienced professional women.
3c) Successful job interviewing
The key question of course is: What to say about your career gap and recent experience?
Apart from that there are many good quality, free sources on the web on CV writing and most advice is entirely applicable to working mums and working flexibly. Mum & Career have selected a few:
- Working mums – advice and support on interviewing and going back to work, addressing some particular issues mums might have
- Business balls – complete list of job interview tips for interviewees, including model answers
- Careerbuilder – job interview tips, advice and blogs
- A good top 10 of job interview questions, by Global Recruitment Inc
On line information and support for women Changing Career or Returning to Work
- Daphne Jackson Trust - Returners Scheme, helping those with a background in Science, Engineering and Technology to return after a career break, via paid two year part-time fellowships
- Careershifters – help motivated people building a career they love. Practical and fun guide, blog, and on-line support, as well as training and coaching
- The Pickle Shed – local coaching groups for women that are a launchpad for women returning to work, offer 1-2-1 coaching too
- i-Relaunch – self-tests, information and guidance for people wanting to return to work after a career break
- Newlifenetwork – ideas and support for building new careers, some specific advice and information for women returners
- Mumsnet – Q&A with Nic Paton – author of The Complete Career Makeover, offers Mumsnetters help and advice on making a career change
- Working families - charity on work-life balance, offer resources on tax, flexible working and just lots of advice and support for working mums and dads
- Position Ignition – workshops, webinars, coaching, club, books and resources for people changing careers
- Alternative Divorce Directory - information and guidance for a sensible divorce that does not end up in a legal battle
Recommended books on Changing Career and Returning to Work
- What color is your parachute, Richard S. Bolles – practical and inspiring job-hunting guide, very well-known and generally seen as The One book to have for job-hunters
- The Work we were Born to do, Nick Williams – no quick fixes but a real guide on the journey to bring your heart into your work and…earn money
- Find your dream job, Carole-Ann Rice and Sarah Wade – real-life stories, each followed by coaching, inspiring you to take control now and do what you have always wanted
- How to get a job you’ll love, John Lees – aimed at people who have a strong sense they want to do something purposeful but don’t know what
- Mothers Work! How to get a grip on guilt and make a smooth return to work, Jessica Chivers – down to earth stories and guidance to help all mums make work ‘business as usual ‘
- Going back to work: a practical guide to re-entering the job market, Sally Longson – especially aimed at those with a long(er) career break
- Back to Work – A guide for women returners Diana Wolfin and Susan Foreman – practical guide, taking you through the steps of finding a job
- Back on the Career Track, Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, book by the founders of the i-Relaunch website, offers a practical seven step programme and inspirational stories for Stay at Home Mums that want to return to work
- The Balancing Act, Fiona Parashar – work life solutions for busy people, based on her experience of coaching senior managers
- Time Management for Manic Mums, Alison Mitchell – inspiring and practical ideas from ‘mum on the run’ to ‘mum who has fun’
- Women who waited to be great, Tom Butler-Bowdon - inspiring and motivating you to take the long look at life, start a career after 40, 50 or 60