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The Stay-at-Home Parent’s Guide to Returning to the Workplace

Are you ready to return to the workforce after years at home caring for your children? You had a thriving career that you put on hold to spend more time with your family and save on childcare costs. Now that you want to work again, you’re not sure where to start. Look at what you need to know about going from a stay-at-home parent to a new employee.

Should You Go Back to Work?

Before you go from full-time stay-at-home parent to full-time job seeker, make sure you are ready to return to the workforce. According to the Pew Research Center, one out of every five parents in the United States are stay-at-home parents. This means you aren’t alone in your choice to stay home — and you aren’t the first or the only parent who has made the transition from parenting to the workplace. 

Whether you chose to stay at home for social, emotional, or financial reasons, you may need to think about the goals you have for yourself and your career before you take the next step.

Not only can this help you to decide on a time to return to the workforce, it can help you to clarify what you expect from your job. The more you know about your expectations, motivations, and goals, the better you will be able to find a job that meets your needs.

How Should You Update Your Resume?

There’s a gap in your resume. The years you spent caring for your children at home left a space in between your last work experience and now. What should you do about this employment gap?

Again, you aren’t the only parent who chose to stay at home and later decided to return to their career path. Many employers have seen this type of gap before and understand that it is a natural part of the work-life cycle for many professionals. But this doesn’t mean you should just leave a significant resume gap.

While you don’t have to explain your choices to your future employer, you do want a resume that makes you a marketable candidate. A gap could seem odd or falsely lead a would-be employer to believe that you lack dedication or are unreliable.

If possible, fill the gap with volunteer or other activities that you’ve engaged in during your time as a stay-at-home parent. These could include charity work, volunteering for the PTA at your child’s school , or unpaid projects that relate to your career/industry. You can also highlight continuing education or professional development classes, programs, or seminars that you’ve attended during your tenure as a stay-at-home parent (these may include in-person or virtual activities).

Another option is to include stay-at-home parent experiences and a mini explanation in a cover letter. Address the employment gap head-on and outline applicable skills that parenting has taught you. As a stay-at-home parent, you may have improved your ability to efficiently organize a schedule, taken on a new leadership role in your family, or developed practical skills that make you a better employee.

How Should You Start Your Job Search?

In an ideal world, your old job would welcome you back or your former co-workers and industry-related contacts would help you to find a new position. But you may have lost contact with these people over the past few years. If you’re not sure where to start, get help from a professional.

A staffing or job placement service can help you to find a job that meets your needs and connect with employers that are hiring right now. This can help you to save time and energy in your job search. Do you need help finding a job? Contact Tulsa’s Green Country Staffing for more information

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