Making the decision to return to work is never an easy one. I remember my little guy was one year old and my daughter was three when I was faced with the decision. All you can do is weigh the pros and cons, then make your decision using both your head and your heart.
The economic slowdown is creating a rise in the unemployment rate. In addition, a market flooded with downsized professionals and recent college grads all having sharper, more updated skills means the competition will be tough. Be honest with yourself… finding the right job will be difficult.
Don't let this discourage you. If you think smart, anticipate the challenges, and then meet them head-on, you should be able to improve your odds of success in the job market.
While still working as an at-home-mom, it's important to:
Before you begin job-hunting, assess your own personal situation to determine if going back to work is right for you.
You'll need to determine your bottom-line net income requirements. What kind of salary will adequately benefit your financial situation after you deduct the cost of childcare, work clothes, transportation, taxes, and other expenses?
You'll need to consider your children's ages, family's schedule, and childcare availability to determine the shift and number of work hours per day that you'll be able to accept. Many jobs include out-of-town travel for various lengths of time. How might that scenario work into your home situation?
From the employers perspective:
Once you've determined your own personal needs, make an assessment of how you will look from the employer's perspective. What are your shortcomings and how will you approach them? What can you do to increase your chances of being marketable?
Making your decision to return to work and preparing yourself is only part of your challenge. You still need to talk to your older children about your decision and how it will impact their lives and their time with you. Be honest and self-assured that you will still find time for them (and mean it).
You've weighed the pros and cons and worked on making yourself marketable. You've done all your homework. Now be flexible and maintain a positive mindset, knowing that you have valuable skills to contribute in the workforce. Most of all, stay true to your financial bottom line and your family's needs. With diligence, hard work and patience, all the rest will fall into place.
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