First Steps for Stay at Home Moms Choosing to Return to Work

Making the choice to return to work was actually the first big step you took.  I imagine it wasn’t an easy decision, and that you may have gone back and forth on this a number of times before finally choosing to forge ahead.

Be clear about WHY you’ve made this choice. 

Is it for financial reasons?

Do you need to work because you need the intellectual stimulation, challenge, or the validation that some feel when they receive a paycheck?

Is it because you seek to fulfill a passion or want to pursue an interest and hope to parlay it into an income stream?

Is it because you like the structure that having a job can provide?

Do you need the benefits?

Maybe you just feel the need to get out of the house and be among adults on a regular basis?

The answers to questions like these will help you know how to determine your next steps at every stage of this transition.  For example, if you find yourself considering taking a job that offers no benefits, when that was one of your initial goals in seeking work, you will more quickly know whether that job is, in fact, a good fit for you.  It’s extremely important to tune into your own very personal reasons for going back to work to ensure that your quest for employment mirrors those aims.

Be Aware of the Ramifications of the Change

Consider what will change as a result of your return to work and be realistic regarding your expectations about how things will be afterward.  How will you make time to run errands, clean and prepare meals?  Will you have someone else do it for you or are you able to split those responsibilities moving forward with someone else?  Will you still enjoy quality time with your family?  Will you continue to make time for yourself (provided you’ve already been doing so)?

You will have the highest likelihood of success and enjoyment if you’ve truly thought through how going back to work will affect the running of your household and how it will impact your relationships as well.

Address any concerns you have as early as possible.  The more you can explore them beforehand with those that support you, the fewer difficulties you’re likely to experience.

Lay the Groundwork/Set the Stage

As a result of the things that will change, be sure to have as many resources in place as possible.  For example, if you are only on planning on working when the kids are in school, you should still have a backup plan for when a child becomes sick (a grandparent who is willing to watch your child, a neighbor, or a babysitter).  Make sure that those who are playing “back-up” are aware of their roles, and agree to them well ahead of when they are needed.  This helps prevent misunderstandings and will give you a sense of peace and assuredness.

If you know you won’t have as much time to prepare meals, you might choose to prepare a few things on the weekends so your meals are ready to go throughout the week.  Or maybe you’ll choose to just spend more on take-out.

You also might set up carpools so that you are spending less time in the car and more doing the other things you need to be doing.

What do you know?

Is your skill set current for the job you are seeking?  Do you need to go back to school or obtain some training? Recall what you’ve already accomplished, what skills you’ve harnessed and developed along the way, where your interests and passions lie and what other resources you possess.  Fill in the gaps as needed.

Who do you know?

Who do you know AND who do they know?  While seeking a job opportunity, let everyone you know that you’re looking and exactly what kind of position you’re interested in.  This way you will have an army of people with their antennae out for the perfect opportunity for you.  Be sure to network with others in the field you want to break (back) into.  Don’t be shy about it.  Those in your desired industry can provide you with useful information about current trends, other people you may want to talk to, and how you can best proceed in your search.

These are the 5 things you need to do in order to successfully transition from home life back to the workplace:

1)   Be clear about your WHY

2)   Be aware of the ramifications of change

3)   Lay the groundwork and set the stage

4)   Bring to the surface what you know and increase your skill set

5)   Tell everyone you know what you’re looking for or what you offer

These same steps apply when you are planning to start your own business, except that instead of telling everyone you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be broadcasting what it is your new business offers.

Wishing you much success!

Warmly, Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

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