Though returning to the workforce after an absence can be scary, the majority of moms who take time off to stay at home with their children will eventually face this task. Steps can be taken to make this transition an easier one.
Stay involved in your profession. Keep contacts in the field. Consider completing contract or freelance work if this is an option. Remain active in professional organizations. Read magazines and articles to stay up to date with new trends and changes in your career field. Also, consider taking a class or two before you begin searching for a new job. This will not only refresh you but will help you feel confident as you begin your search.
Attend job fairs. These are held in most large cities, and oftentimes major corporations attend, hoping to recruit new employees. Not only will you make great contacts, but you might find a job opportunity in a field in which you hadn´t previously considered.
List what you feel is most important in a career and then search for a job that meets these requirements. If you do not want to work long hours, make sure that the jobs for which you are applying do not require late nights and weekend shifts. If you hope for some type of flexibility, such as telecommuting or a flexible schedule, search for companies that offer these perks. Consider commute time and the job´s proximity to your children´s school or daycare center.
Make a plan. Once you return to working outside of the home, you will need to restructure the way that things are taken care of inside your home. If you were staying at home for a while, it is likely that your job was to keep the house cleaned, prepare meals, organize the days, keep track of appointments, and tend to the other thousands of things that go into keeping a home running smoothly. When you return to work, though, the workload should shift so that your family is sharing in the responsibilities. In order to make this happen, sit down with your family and develop a plan before you return to work. Create a chore sheet so that everyone has something to do around the house each week. Hire a cleaning person if you can afford to do so, so that your entire weekend doesn´t revolve around cleaning. Check out my blog posts on organization tips for additional ideas.
Talk to your children. Chances are, even if they are older they will not understand that when you return to work, you will not be home as much as you once were. Let them know in advance that this doesn´t mean that you will not be there for them. Schedule time in each day to sit down with each of your children and spend several minutes talking about what they want to discuss. Plan family days each weekend, when the entire family goes out and does something together.
Below are a few websites that might offer additional tips if you are planning to return to work after an absence.