In general, women are often more modest about their professional achievements and work experience. So after a 6 – 12 month career break their self-confidence and ability to promote themselves can be even further undermined. To help kick start your return to work, we’ve dispelled some of the very common misconceptions among Mums about job searching and applications.
Myth 1: You are automatically less attractive to prospective employers if you have had a career break and can only work part time or flexible hours.
Fact: This is no longer the case as thankfully the UK employment market is changing. Recent studies and business experience has proven that flexible, part time women returners make very reliable, loyal employees with high productivity. They are, therefore, a high value, lower cost proposition for a business.
Myth 2: Working flexible hours / working from home are not appealing pre-requisites to a potential employer.
Fact: With the current economic climate, cost effectiveness is an increasingly high business priority. Staff resourcing is a large business expense with companies actively looking for more cost effective, business efficient solutions. Flexible and remote working is now emerging as a very credible and business efficient employment solution. You will, however, have to be thorough and dedicated in your job search to find these flexible working positions.
Myth 3: Career break is an acceptable term on your CV
Fact: If this term is not explained properly on your CV and job applications, you run the great risk of underselling yourself to prospective employers. Give yourself more credit – you’ve earned it.
Consider this period of your life as a “Career transition”. How much of a culture shock was it to move from a professional workplace into being a full time mum? Leaving behind a professional life with status, income, perks and a company of work friends/colleagues to being a full time parent is a significant life transition and for some a lonely isolating one. However, making this transition you have demonstrated an ability to handle personal change and adapt to new circumstances.
Think of some examples of how you managed the transition; where you found the change hard to bear and situations where it was easier and even enjoyable. What were your coping mechanisms and how did you make the transition successfully.
And finally… Be persistent!
An effective job search takes time. You may be rejected several times, perhaps many times before you land the job you want. Since we all tend to resist discomfort, it is natural to avoid any activity that leads to what the mind interprets as failure. As a result, people often give less time each week to their job search. Defuse this by realizing that you will hear “no” many times before you hear “yes.” Whether you are working and want more time flexibility, or you’re job hunting, ask for what you need. If you don’t get the response you want, don’t give up. People who usually get what they want have a simple secret: they keep making requests. Often the sequence goes like this: no, no, no, no , no, no, YES.