Professional Women

Baby steps back to the workforce

If your decision to return to work is anything like mine, you will spend months or even years trying to figure out when is the “right time” to go back. While I knew I would eventually have to go back, I didn’t really think about what I could do to stay current in my field until my youngest was in preschool.

Whether you have months or years, there are small things you can do to keep your resume fresh and provide a little adult interaction as an added benefit.

Are there classes or a training that you always wished you could have taken? Or maybe a new certification you have been interested in? Take the time now to fill in those gaps.

When I went back to work, I kept wishing that I had taken a bit of a refresher course in basic design and social media. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I thought my docking station meant I got a boat. Yes, really! Brush up on all that is new online and you will even wow some people at work who still design flyers in Word.

Is there a professional club you can join, either in person or digitally? Consider clubs that focus on your chosen field as well as local clubs for networking. Parents returning to work have the smallest chances of callbacks so it really is going to come down to who you know.

Can you volunteer for some kind of leadership or coordinator position in one or more community groups? Schools, sports, churches, and clubs are always looking for people to take on tasks. Not only does this help you polish your skills, it leads to more connections.

Is there contract work available in your chosen field? There are any number of businesses that are looking for contractors to cover projects they cannot staff full time. The beauty of contract work is that you can choose your projects, which also means you decide when and how you will work.

Is there an opportunity for internship or volunteer work in your field? This is especially helpful if you know exactly where they want to work. Even if that is not possible, there are tons of nonprofit groups who would gladly accept help and even they need web design, marketing, record keeping, and so on.

Even with your main focus on your babies, there are still ways to keep your skills fresh and your connections fresh. At the very least, learn that a docking station has nothing to do with a boat! 🙂

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