Women Returners

It can feel really overwhelming when you return to the workplace after a career break. Read our tips especially for women returners to help make the transition back to work easier.

Untitled design (43)Work For Mums official partner for careers advice and guidance is Hannah Morton-Hedges from Momentum Careers Advice.

Hannah qualified as a careers adviser in 2002 and prior to this, gained significant and valuable experience as an in-house recruiter for a number of major blue-chip companies.

As well as a 2:1 honours degree from the University of Hull, she holds the Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance (PgDip Guidance).  She is a registered member of the Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG) and is committed to their Code of Ethics, which includes impartiality, confidentiality  and accountability.  She is a qualified administrator of the Morrisby Profile psychometric test and a holder of the Prospects Certificate in Life Coaching.

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Untitled design (3)If you’re like many of us, your work and social life overlap. Soon after you accept a new job offer, you realise the transition is going to affect your personal relationships as well as your professional activities. Consider these steps to take before and after you start your new gig to help you maintain old ties, and build new friendships.

Steps to Take Before You Change Jobs

  1. Hang out outside of work. There’s more to you than your professional interests. Invite interesting colleagues to go out shopping or hiking. Meet people from other walks of life.

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Untitled design (54)The decision to return to work after time off with the kids isn’t easy, and depending on how long you’ve been out of the jobs market, it can seem daunting, coping with all the changes.

The main thing you need to remember is that if you’re the right woman for the job, taking time out of the workplace while you bring your children up need not be a barrier to you getting it.

Never apologise for being a stay at home mum. Be confident about your decisions and if you feel the need to explain it, just say that is was the best decision for your family at the time, but now you are ready to return to the world of work. No other explanation is needed.

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social-network-76532_960_720Looking for a job on social media is something all job hunters need to seriously think about adding to their game plan, but it can be hard to make your profile stand out above the rest. How can you get the people you want to see you to take notice?

Create Relevant Profiles

You’re selling yourself on social media so make your LinkedIn profile, for example, the perfect sounding profile for someone who wants to work in the sector you want to get into.

Don’t ignore Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ either, they are all allies in your search for the dream job. Spruce up your public profiles; keep your updates relevant and up to date with interesting information that shows you’re bang up to date with the sector you want to get into.

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Untitled design (65)Being an at home mum is often seen as just an unwelcome gap in your work history, but with a little ingenuity you can use all the skills you’ve developed as a stay at home mum and apply them to the workplace.

1. Multitasking – not a problem

Bring able to multi-task is an asset in the office but it’s a necessity when you’re at home with the kids, trying to sort out the washing while one of them is attempting to insert the remains of a sandwich into his sister’s ear, or someone is pulling on your jumper telling you they are desperate for a wee. You need to be able to do one thing while worrying about another – and with more than one child, that’s a job in itself.

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Untitled design (66)It’s been the accepted way to apply for jobs for many years – see a job, apply and send a CV, then wait. With so many people applying for most advertised jobs, though. Candidates are looking at creative ways to make their applications stand out…

1. Designer CVs

This is a favourite for creative job seekers who want to showcase their abilities. Instead of a plain white paper CV, why not design your CV and prove how creative you actually are? You could create a CV that reads like an advertising campaign, or do what one very talented creative called Eric Gandhi did and design a CV that looks like the results page for a Google search. A Google employee saw it on LinkedIn and the job was Eric’s.

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Untitled design (25)A PA can be indispensable in businesses of all sizes or types. Sounding board, typist, supervisor, organiser, diary-keeper – it’s a role that requires humility, discretion, flexibility, quick-mindedness and the ability to improvise at short notice.

Whilst these skills are undeniably honed through years of experience in the business and require a specialist touch, when you think about it there are actually stark correlations between the responsibilities of being a PA and the duties which come with being a mum. Yes, looking after little ones isn’t easy – and remarkably you’ll find you probably already possess the skills to become a competent, reliable PA simply through the day-to-day talents you have picked up whilst raising your children.

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Untitled design (29)Many mums find themselves in one of the following situations:

  • Looking for the next step
  • Not sure which line of work to enter after a career break
  • Thinking of a career change
  • Looking to update skills and work experience
  • Not sure where to start

If any of the above applies to you, then completing one or more psychometric tests will help you determine your next steps toward a more fulfilling career as a working mum.

What are psychometric tests?

Any test or questionnaire you complete that measures your ability, personality, values, motivation, interests or any other part of your ‘psyche’ can be referred to as a ‘psychometric’. Under the umbrella of psychometric tests, there are personality and ability tests.

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Untitled design (34)If you are a mum who is returning to the workplace after maternity leave, or career break to raise your children, you may be at a loose end on how to explain the lengthy gap on your CV.

It’s important to cover and address any breaks on your CV in a positive way.  Listed below are some of the many skills mums have.

Mums Transferable Workplace Skills

Untitled design (40)When you have a family, it becomes even more important to find an employer who recognises the importance of having a good work-life balance in addition to them supporting flexible working options.

Here are some things to research when you are looking for a new career:

  • Employment Policies: look for flexible working arrangements, working from home options, childcare support (on site crèche facilities or help with organising childcare), equal opportunities, career break options, maternity pay and procedures, part-time and job sharing arrangements.

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