Sunday, May 10, 2009

How Do Moms Get Back Into The Workforce?

As a full time working mother about to go on maternity leave, many coworkers have been asking if I plan on returning to work. I would love to come back part-time, but that’s just not in the cards for our family at the moment. Like many families – most, I would even venture to say – we need every cent my paycheck brings in.

This is a dilemma that a lot of women face with each pregnancy. Sometimes, as in my case, it’s a pretty cut-and-dry decision based on bank accounts. Other times, it’s more of a gray area. Do you need the income? Can you get by without it? Do you want to give up your professional career entirely?

After my first child was born, I was able to come back after maternity leave part-time. I went in to the office two days a week, which was wonderful. I appreciated having the opportunity to put on work attire, be around other adults with similar professional goals and just get out of the house on my own for a while. Of course, two days of this was enough! Being able to spend the rest of the week with my family was the best part of the new arrangement.

Are you considering what your options are? If you’re maternity leave is about to end, do you go back part-time, full-time, at all?

If you do go back to work, will it be in the same field, or are you ready for a change, like C.S. from L.A., who asks on, “I am looking for ideas for a career transition. I have been working in the Real Estate Field for the last decade and would like to make a change due to the bad market and economy,”?

And if you’re a SAHM like A.R. from Chicago, how do you make yourself an attractive candidate despite a gap in your resume? A.R. writes on, “Hi, I am in need of Career advice. I have been a stay-at-home-mom for 5 years and I feel that I need to get up to date with my career. I don't know if I need to go back to school or just try to get a job with a 5 year gap in my resume.”

There are numerous resources are out there to help women who want to return to the workforce. Check out Ruth Mantell’s WSJ article, “You Can Land a Job – Even Now.”

Allison O’Kelly, CEO of, offers SAHM tips on getting back into the workforce in this video.

And the website Comeback Moms is full of resources including Comeback Moms forums covering getting back into the workforce, working from home, help with resumes and working from home.

If you know of any additional resources out there, or have a story to share of your own transition, please leave your comments below. And good luck to those still in the process!


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