Welcome back to the workforce, Mom

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Think back…. Remember that job you used to have? The one which required you show up five days a week, put in your time, and reap the rewards of a steady paycheck? The one so many of us traded in, or at least cut back on, in order to embrace the opportunity to take care of our homes, volunteer at the kid’s school, catch every game and school concert, and be available after school to lend an ear and make a snack (traded up, in my opinion)? As many of us know, and some are about to learn, time really does go by in the blink of the proverbial eye. The twenty-first century is fully upon us, and with it came a whole host of changes to the world. I asked several successful, admirable women I know, all of whom have paddled the same boat at one time or another, for their thoughts on heading back to the workforce. What the hardest part of “re-inventing” themselves was, and what they learned in the process. There were many great points, but a few stood out time and again.

Mom-to-Mom advice for heading back to the workplace

  • Don’t be afraid to fail. This was a reoccurring theme. Failures are great learning experiences and a step in the right direction, often leading us to a more fulfilling path. Whatever you pursue, give it your all. In the words of Michael Jordan: “…I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I am successful”. The emotional (not to mention financial) rewards of putting yourself out there and eventually succeeding came up every time.
  • Don’t sell yourself short, and don’t take rejection personally. Whatever your previous level of education or pay rate prior to kids, the lack of enthusiasm from potential employers can be disheartening. Keep in mind, you have acquired knowledge over the years that make you unique. You’ve held jobs, managed a household, learned negotiating skills, taught, observed, listened, and gained many skills that only come with maturity and raising a family. Pair that with such options as specialized schools (Want to become a welder? No problem), to online courses, to professional certifications (Think real estate), to starting up and running your own online or storefront business.
  • Don’t underestimate the unlimited potential of the internet. It is both mind blowing and opportunity providing.
  • Follow your passion. If there is something you find yourself drawn to, consider pursuing it for financial gain. Whatever your interests are, if you enjoy what you are doing, and have the financial ability to pursue happiness over money, the money will likely follow. Most of these women turned something they enjoyed doing in their free time in to what eventually became a successful career.
  • The final point, which came up over and over, was this: Do some soul searching. What motivates you, and what are you waiting for? Move forward, keep growing, and keep your purpose at the forefront.

We are fortunate to live in a community full of opportunity. Interested in learning some new skills? Try http://www.billingsadultcommunityed.org/ for some ideas. Volunteering can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Check out http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/ . Have an idea for a new business but need some funding? http://www.womanowned.com/news/small-business-grants-loans-for-women-business-owners . Whatever your pursuits, may they add to your happiness.

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