Use your life skills and resume your career


Here are some of the top skills that you improve as a mother:

  1. Have you learned to persuade, interview, listen better, write, facilitate group discussions or other essential communication skills? As a mother, you’re constantly mentoring, teaching and counseling your children. In addition to that, there are also the communication skills you hone through events and organizations you find yourself being part of when you’re a parent.
  2. People management.
    Managing a home and a pre-schooler or two at the same time can be harder than managing your colleagues. As a result, you’ve probably improved your negotiation skills, which are learned art, especially when toddlers and teachers are involved. If you’ve organized teams for school events, set up a social group, this is relevant. Write down those achievements and spell them out in a SMART way. That’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.
  3. Time management.
    Juggling a household and completing tasks to a deadline at home is a real skill. You need to know how to manage school pick-ups and drop-offs, after school activities and ensure dinner’s on the table before the children get grouchy.etc…
  4. Problem-solving. 
    Every industry needs problem solvers.  As a parent, you’ll come across problems you never knew existed. In fact, you’ll be hit with problems that need solving almost every day. You’ll learn when to step in to help children problem solve and how to provide them with the tools to do it themselves. That’s the fundamentals of being a manager.
  5. Organizational skills.
    Many a mum becomes a super organizer. She may project manage the family renovation or the big round-the-world trip, Maybe you’ve planned, budgeted, and executed a school reunion or fundraising/sports event. Whatever it is you’ve done, document what you did and match the key skills against job advertisements.


Because you are worth it!

“Because You Are Worth It!” is a compelling slogan, and you have the ability to make this motto yours. Be like L’Oreal Paris and make this signature your own.

If you lack in self-confidence, please don’t.  You have much to be confident about… skills, qualifications, qualities. . . You have talent and experience. It was not by chance alone that you got to where you are. You made advances in your career, and you have a list of accomplishments that you can be proud of.

Perhaps you took a few years career break to take care of your family and your children. This does not detract from your achievements, in fact, it compliments them. Think about what you learnt during this time, and the skills you practised on a daily basis. Yes, as a parent, you provide good evidence of organizing, planning, dealing with uncertainty, negotiating, adapting, communication. . .its amazing how you can utilize these skills in the workplace!

Learn to know yourself and solicit feedback.

Please try this small exercise. Conduct a mini survey among your friends, acquaintances and professional network. Ask them 3 questions:

  • Which 3 words describe me the most?
  • Which 3 things am I good at?
  • Which 3 opportunities could I potentially pursue?

You may not like these questions, however maybe it’s time to look at them differently . . .

What do you gain from knowing yourself?

  • You acquire an enhanced sense of self-awareness; you realize that you have strengths and weaknesses, and recognize what they may be.
  • You recognize the value of your capabilities and behaviors, as well as become more accountable for your own development.
  • The ability to compare your self-perception with that of others. This is a critical element to enhance your influence on others (e.g. a recruiter, your manager, others in an organization).
  • The capacity to be honest in a strategic way. By knowing yourself, you can be the best possible version there is.

How companies can welcome back mums

Parenthood is exciting, life-changing, and transformational to the core – personally and professionally. It is an experience every woman looks forward to with much joy and anticipation beyond compare. Not entirely the case though for working expectant moms, who start having unwanted anxious feelings looming around this happiness, and soon become inherent to what’s supposed to be the greatest event in a woman’s life. Below are ways companies can welcome back mums to the workplace, so they don’t find themselves having to depart to cope with the new mom role.

Challenges of maternity leave

The hardest part about maternity leave will be coming back. Just as much as companies put effort to attract the best of talent, none (at least the successful ones) would like to see their proven professionals, who are already integrated within the organizational culture and business, walk out the door. And in this age where we speak of employee experience being a core differentiator of brands to attract and retain talent, it’s time companies who truly care about the women in their workforce to give this their attention.

What can organisations do?

What can organisations do to let expectant mothers, who pause their careers to care for children know they are welcome back?

First, an inspiring example

At KPMG, New York, they take this to their heart, they begin even before an employee leaves to give birth.

When an expectant mother informs KPMG’s HR that she intends to take maternity leave, the company spells out its various parental leave benefits—but with a twist: The information is tucked into a kind of shower gift, a new-parent kit that is sent to the employee’s home and includes a rattle, a baby bottle and a toddler-size T-shirt that says, “My Mom Works at KPMG.”

The gift kit is designed to be a sweetener in a collection of perks aimed at encouraging women who take maternity leave to consider returning to KPMG. It’s just another way to recognize the event and let them know what options they have available to them. The basic idea is wanting expectant moms to feel that the firm is supportive of them as individuals. It’s also a retention initiative. Since the inauguration, KPMG reported that the efforts to bring new mothers back to the firm appear to be working: Only about 12 per cent of those who go out on maternity leave don’t return.

Put your thinking where it matters most

Companies which succeed most in creating compelling employee experiences focus their energy where it matters most. And this is no different: HR in these organizations think beyond the maternity leave period itself to ensure that support exists when new moms are reentering the workforce.

There are some simple but powerful initiatives HR can take to help mothers return to work:

  • Have well-defined policies regarding maternity leave – with empathy at their core – in place. Communicate with them and use them. Every pregnancy and path to parenthood is different, and HR must be prepared to work with every woman to help develop a personalized plan.
  • Create a return plan for moms before their leave begins. This cannot be an afterthought. Managers should work with employees to ensure there’s a sensible return plan in place before mothers begin their leaves. This eases the anxiety and feeling of uncertainty at a time when mothers-to-be are most vulnerable to it.
  • Lend support. Foster safe, supportive places for moms, by moms. Handbooks and HR guidelines on parental policies are a preliminary step. Mothers and mothers-to-be should know who they can go to with questions or problems, or who they can consult for a pep talk. Companies can help establish support groups for moms that help working mothers before and after they return from their maternity leave.
  • Eliminate working-mom guilt. This is the most important, and most difficult, step in creating and maintaining a healthy workplace culture for parents. Remote working and flexible working policies are great ways to help working moms overcome the working mom guilt. Managers play a key role here in helping working moms balance out matters. Train managers on techniques how to do that if necessary.
  • Communicate more often about parenthood in general. A huge number of the workforce are parents. HR needs to start talking about parenthood changing needs, especially for new parents returning from parental leave.

How to make a successful career change

Many people do it and have flourishing careers, but how can you make a successful career change?  Previous generations believed in jobs for life and progressed steadily within their chosen field for 40 plus years until settling into a contented retirement with a healthy pension. That’s a wonderful thought if at the tender age of 18 you made the correct career choice and enjoyed the job you spent most of your waking hours doing.

What about the people who made the wrong choice? Or who, shock horror, weren’t the same people they were at 40 as they were at 21 and now wanted many different things. Or the lucky people who discovered a passion later in life and wanted to make a living from it?!

The nature of work has, thankfully, changed to allow for an individual to have more than one careers within their lifetime. Making the leap from an unfulfilling, well-paid role into one with potentially fewer financial rewards but which will make a difference to their community and boost happiness is almost considered heroic.

Why do people seek a career change?

  • Life-changing events such as becoming a parent, an illness, the death of a loved one or an eye-opening travel experience. All of these can make you feel like a completely different person with new values and philosophies and yearn for a job which fits those new thoughts.
  • Forced removal from a job can feel devastating however it is often eventually seen as a blessing and a gateway into a new life.
  • Feeling as though you are progressing, developing and making a difference are key factors in self-worth. If this is lacking in an existing career it can lead to demoralization and even depression.

How to switch careers successfully

Ask questions of yourself. You need to be scrupulously honest with yourself here. So, you want to set up as a mobile dog groomer? There’s a gap in the market in your local area and you LOVE animals! Wonderful, great idea! Oh, but you can’t drive and haven’t ever actually owned a dog?!

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that picture so long as research, effort, work experience and a fast track driving course are part of your planning process.

  • What do I/will I enjoy?
  • What qualifications do I have/will I need?
  • What skills do I have and enjoy using and what job are they best suited to?

Ask for help

Networking, cheek and a good amount of luck can make a real difference to the success of your new career.

  • Who do you know in or with connections to your chosen industry? Offer to buy them lunch in return for advice and/or introductions.
  • Do some Googling and send lots of carefully worded and structured emails introducing yourself, what you would like to achieve and offer yourself for work experience. Now is not the time to be proud. The tone of your email might just remind someone of themselves 10 years ago and a fabulous offer could come your way.

Start your career change plan

Before you begin the process of leaving your current role start saving. A financial buffer for what is often a tricky period financially will take the pressure off you when you’re already stressed out by a new job.

  • Hone your CV and cover letter. Stand out for all the right reasons and convince them to call you to interview, there you can really Wow them.
  • Gain the qualifications you need and/or work experience alongside your existing job if you can. It’s hard work but your debts will be fewer and giving up your dream because you’re desperate and living on baked beans would be a disaster. Early morning, late night and weekend graft will be worth it in the end.
  • If your plan is to start your own business then extensive research and talks with the bank, an accountant and a financial advisor are vital. Becoming your own boss is a fantastic thing to do but it isn’t for everyone, be prudent.

Making your plan a reality

Let’s get the ball rolling to transform your chosen career change into reality rather than a plan in your head or on a piece of paper.

  • Apply for as many jobs in your new field as you can. Even you don’t tick all the boxes the employer requires, apply anyway, you don’t know if you don’t try and any kind of interview or job application practice is a day well spent.
  • Raise your profile by doing work for friends and family. This will build your confidence and a word of mouth generated type of organic growth will begin.
  • Remember that a new business will start small, don’t panic. Simply share your successes, happy clients and achievements wherever and whenever you can and your customer base will build.

Keep this in mind!

Take the leap. Start. Be brave. There are a thousand inspirational quotes to be found on the internet about believing in yourself and starting the journey but all you need to know is that no successful career change has ever happened to someone who procrastinated and stayed stuck. Good luck!


Tips to improve your chances of getting hired after a career break


Employers want people who are abreast of the latest trends related to work. Therefore, stay updated during the break. The traditional ways to brush up skills and knowledge, books, magazines, and courses help. However, staying in the field through freelance work is best.

Rather than doing a course, if possible, take up part-time assignments, one can also help a charity, work for NGOs, enhance digital skills or give a hand to startups. This will give the impression that you have used the break well.


Keep in touch with old colleagues and employers. Networking will help you search for an appropriate opening or get good references that can increase your chances of getting selected in a job interview.


If you’ve had a long break, you’ll likely have to discuss it within your cover letter, as well as during interviews. No matter what your reason for your extended leave from the workforce, keep your explanation brief. A simple sentence will do. Try, “I’ve spent time caring for a sick relative,” or “It was important to me to be home with my child until nursery school,” “I’ve been volunteering at a homelessness charity” or “I’ve spent the past few years traveling throughout the world, working on my language skills.”


“Companies always look at the last role and compensation. So, do not compare your pay cheque or job profile with those who started with you and have grown while you were on a sabbatical,”

This doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be treated as cheap labour. The compensation should be in keeping with your experience and industry standards.

It is often easier to make a comeback in emerging high-growth sectors or smaller firms. Emphasis should be on job profile and prospects and not on the size of the organisation. “The company was small compared with my previous organisation but the business was expanding and growth prospects were good,”


It is important to maintain your confidence. You need this to be able to put in job applications, go to interviews, and face the possible rejection which goes hand in hand with looking for a new job. In order to be a strong candidate, you need to be able to sell yourself to potential employers, and for that, you need to be confident. After all, no one is going to believe in you if you do not believe in yourself.

Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms Returning to Work

Get in the right frame of mind.

Start practicing as if you’re already returning to work. “Talk openly about your career and the work you either used to do or the work you want to do (if they’re different). Practice talking about yourself as a professional, rather than a mom. These small mindset changes, along with a lot of practice talking out loud about work and being a woman who works, will set you up to speak confidently when you’re interacting with potential employers.”

Get some advice.

If most of your friends are fellow stay-at-home moms, you may need to look outside your circle for some advice and inspiration. Try to connect with other working moms to see how they balance work life and family life.

Even if you don’t know many working moms personally, you can use online groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to connect virtually with other moms who’ve either made the return to work or are in the middle of it. Their insights, advice, and friendship will be a huge source of support, energy, and inspiration as you make your return.”

Ask them how they conducted their job searches, what they wish someone had told them when they were looking for a job and returning to work, and any job search strategies for success they may have.

Determine what you really want to do.

You know you want to work, but you’re not sure what you want to do. You’re thinking about going back to your old career because it’s easier than starting over. But, maybe, you want to try something new.

Sit down and think about the things that have brought you joy while you were raising your children. Determine what you truly want to do, and then figure out the steps you need to take to make it happen.

Make a job search plan.

After contemplating the above questions and having a firm grasp on your and your family’s needs, create a job search plan. While it may seem a bit over the top, knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it will help keep you on track and give you actionable tasks to work on if you start getting frustrated.

Set up your job search and networking goals, then mark the dates on your calendar. This could include taking classes to learn (or update) skills, volunteering, or even looking for internships.

Prepare your elevator pitch, personal brand, and five-word job description. Once you’ve got those set, use them when you connect with professionals and conduct informational interviews.

Seek out and verify job search services that can help.

Update your social profiles.

Many people have more than one social media account. But, even if you have only one account, make sure it’s up to date and doesn’t contain anything questionable.

If there are pictures or opinions you don’t want employers to see, consider changing your privacy settings so only people you approve can see your profile.

While you’re at it, set up a LinkedIn account if you don’t already have one. Even if it isn’t your favorite social media site, it may be the most important one to have. Not only does it give you a chance to showcase your relevant skills, but it’s also a great way to show you’re involved and active in your subject area.

Answering Tough Questions About Going Back to Work

Congratulations! They want to interview you. As nervous as that might make you, there are plenty of ways to explain your employment gap in a professional and reassuring manner.

Own it.

Don’t hide your time off raising a family. Any future employer that does not respect your past choices may not respect your future ones.

That time was not blank or a vacation, but rather a skill-building experience—treat it as such. Employers are going to get the value of the skills you gained, and you might as well be front and center with them. When going back to work, don’t minimize the experience you have gained at home.

Dealing with curveballs.

Whether or not it’s legal and whether or not it’s fair, there’s a chance someone might ask you questions that they shouldn’t. It’s important to be prepared not only to hear the questions but to have a perfect answer ready to go.

Some of the less-than-ideal questions can include:

  • Is your career more important than your family?
  • How do you let someone else raise your children?
  • Who cooks for your kids?
  • Do you have to work?

There are, of course, many more like this. But, for the most part, when it comes to answering these curveball interview questions, you’ve got a few options.

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Losing your cool and pointing out how unfair and biased the question is will only lose you the job. Take a deep breath, and try one of these techniques to answer the question.

First, you could answer the question directly.

Second, you can try a humorous answer to redirect the question and deflect the answer. “Who cooks for my kids? Anyone I can con into it because I am a terrible cook. Seriously.

Third, you could ask the interviewer how the question relates to the job duties. “Who cooks for my kids? Can I ask why this is important? I want to understand the job and all of its duties. If I’m going to cook and be your account manager, I’d like to know that information.”

In the end, consider it a good thing that the interviewer asked this question. It gives you valuable insight into the company and its culture.

What Are Other Options For Stay-at-Home Moms Returning to Work?

If you didn’t get the job, don’t give up! There are still things you can do that will help you return to work.

Part-Time and Temp Work

Consider part-time or even temporary work as a transition step to regular, full-time employment. It may not be ideal, but it’s something to help you and your family get used to you working. It’s also a great way for you to test the waters and figure out what kind of balance works best for you and your family.

It’s also a great way to reintroduce yourself to technology. If the last time you were in an office was when Windows 7 was all the rage, you’re going to have to learn Windows 10. While it’s not that different, it’s not the same, either.

You Got the Job!

That’s great! But, once you start thinking about it, you start getting cold feet. Who’s going to take care of the kids when they get home from school? What about taking them to soccer practice? What if someone gets sick?

Test run child care.

In almost every case, you’ll have about two weeks before you report for your first day of work. In that time, you should find child care for your kids.

Once you’ve got it set up, do a test run so the kids can get used to the situation and the new person or people helping you out. It’s also a great chance for you to figure out what works best in terms of schedule and routine and for you to gain trust and confidence in your helpers.

Set boundaries.

Once you get back to work, you may find yourself doing everything you can to prove you can do it all. But in reality that isn’t healthy and will only set you up to fail.

Set boundaries and make sure you enforce them—which may mean learning how to say “no” to things you can’t say “yes” to.

That means if you have to leave at 5:00 to get to daycare before 6:00, make sure you leave at 5:00 no matter what. That may mean working a little bit at home as a trade-off, but don’t let anyone schedule a meeting for 4:45 and expect you to stay.

Offer to have the meeting at a different time. Or have a virtual meeting instead. There are plenty of tools out there that allow you to meet with coworkers anytime and anyplace with an Internet connection.

Going Back to Work as a Mom Takes Time

The transition back to work isn’t easy for anyone. Ask for all the help you can get. Reynolds says, “It can also help to work with a career coach who can work with you to find clarity on your goals, get your resume back in shape, practice interviewing, and determine the best return-to-work strategies for you.

Tips for Leaving Your Comfort Zone

 Rethink the part that feels scary.

Identify what feels scary to you and decide to view it in a way that feels exciting or adventurous.

Give it a try.

Remind yourself that you’re simply giving this new situation a try. If you don’t like it, you can always stop doing it.

Devise a plan.

If you’re not ready to take a big leap, take a baby step. Having a plan helps you leave your comfort zone slowly


Celebrate leaving your comfort zone. This is another way to motivate yourself.

Remind yourself you’ve done this before.

Make a list of things that you’ve done in the past that have you scared but that you’ve still completed successfully, this can boost your confidence in leaving your comfort zone.

Growth and learning happen beyond your comfort zone

The comfort zone is a psychological state where one feels safe or at ease and without stress or anxiety.

Judith Bardwick, the author of “Danger in the Comfort Zone,” defines the term as “a behavioral state where a person operates in an anxiety-neutral position.” It’s a perceived certainty where we believe we have access to all we need — we feel we have some control.

This neutral state is both natural and human — our brain is lazy and leans toward the easiest path. We can continue living on autopilot or embrace discomfort to reap more significant rewards. Simply put: do you want to live or to thrive?

Research has demonstrated that a state of relative comfort creates a consistent and steady performance. However, relative anxiety — a state where our stress level is higher than normal — can maximize your performance. Conversely, too much anxiety drops your productivity off.

The challenge is finding what Robert Yerkes and John Dodson called “Optimal Anxiety” — the sweet-spot between arousal and performance.

Your brain, just like your body, needs training. Neurons that are weak, unused, or that don’t fit the job are pruned. Neurons that are exercised get stronger and develop more connections.

“Discomfort may be a doorway; don’t run from it.” ― Joseph Deitch

Your life is waiting at the other side of your comfort zone.

How to stay calm during an interview

The key to staying calm during an interview is to reduce your cognitive load by having a Pre-Presentation checklist. To maximize your interview impact, follow these steps:

2. Have “a hook” and easy to follow a structure in your speech using audience cues
2. Have “a hook” and easy to follow structure in your speech using audience cues
3. Research the employer in advance.
4. Have 3 key facts, strengths, and/or messages you want to deliver that are aligned with values of your potential employer
5. Be prepared to weave these interesting messages into your personal story as you progress through your interview
6. Choose your vocabulary wisely and be concise – every word counts and do not use limiting language through learning the art and science of persuasion and communication
7. Practice speaking with authority from your diaphragm while being mindful of your tone, elocution, and articulation
8. Prepare strong persuasive vocabulary that reflects you, your strengths, your talents, your aspirations and know these cold
9. Practice eye contact exercises to ensure you work through any uneasiness you feel when speaking with strangers – feel your physical reaction and reduce your sensitivity
10. Obtain guidance on how to become mindful of your physiology when nervous and then learn to control your nervousness through a series of anxiety-reducing exercises.

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