Working outside the home is never an easy decision to make when you have kids. There is a lot to consider for your family and for yourself before making the decision to go back into the workforce, so here are some things to think about before you decide to go back into the paid workforce.
Understand what you are looking for before you start looking. If you worked outside the home before having kids, what did and didn’t you like about your job? Use this knowledge and experience to help focus your search on jobs and companies that have the qualities you are (or aren’t) looking for.
Expect the job search to take some time. Even though they may not admit it, recruiters and employers are biased towards people currently in the workforce, so if you have been out of the paid workforce for a while, plan on it taking about a year to find a job.
Get comfortable with social media. Recruiters and employers are using social media a lot to find right candidates for the job, so if you don’t already have an LinkedIn account, get one and learn how to create a good profile that will encourage employers and recruiters to call you. Follow companies you are interested in working for on Facebook and Twitter because they will often post job openings there as well as on their website.
Understand your reasons for wanting to go back into the workforce and what you are looking for in a job. This will help you focus your job search and eliminate certain companies and jobs from your search.
How does finding a job fit into your family mission statement, family vision, and family goals? Is it consistent with where you want to go? Think this through because it will help you make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and at the right time.
Accept now that things are going to be different and that you won’t be able to do it all; plan on delegating household chores to other family members (including the kids) and learning to let some things go. The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be on you.
Talk over with your spouse how you are going to handle school drop-offs and pick-ups, sick kids, doctor appointments, and getting everyone where they need to be. Make sure the two of you are aligned on all these things and the reasons why you are going back to work BEFORE you take a new job.
Think through how you are going to handle childcare and use resources like Sittercity.com and Care.com to help you find good care.
Ditch the guilt. It may be a rough adjustment at first for everyone, but give it some time. Just make sure it is the right time, you focus on finding the right job, and that you are doing it for the right reasons. Your kids are going to be okay.
These are just some of the things that you will have to consider before going back into the paid workforce, but are by no means all of them. What things would you add? Leave your thoughts, additions, and suggestions in the comments below.