Mums Re-Entering the Workforce? Increase Your Chances to Get a Job

March 4, 2011

I’m not a Mum, I’ll be upfront about that.

I have been in HR for many years and I’ve hired staff, so I have a fair idea what they’re looking for on the other side of the table.

I have never discriminated against a candidate who was a mother, father or otherwise.

It does unfortunately seem that there are employers out there who have their doubts about hiring mothers according to a recent survey.

The Working Mothers Study by Regus claims that SIX out of every TEN Australian companies have no plans in the next two years to hire mothers.  These employers feel that working mothers may not be as committed or flexible……  Not sure if this is just me, but I was honestly flabbergasted by this finding….  that’s more than half!

What century are these employers stuck in?!?!

Ok, so that’s as negative as I’ll be about that finding, as it’s really those employers who are missing out on the terrific contribution made by mothers in the workforce.

Would you really want to work for that type of employer anyway?

The good news is that there are FOUR out of every TEN who responded positively about plans to employ working mums, so isn’t it just a matter of finding them?!?!

You can do that of course and there are a number of employers who are supportive to the many individual needs, including families and children.

To further enhance your changes of gaining employment for mothers who have been out of the workforce for a long period of time, we have put together the following suggestions:

  • Start planning early – well before you want to go back to work, start planning critical activities that you need to do, so that you give yourself every chance of success when the time comes when you want to re-enter the workforce.
  • What do you want to do?
    What job were you doing before?
    Do you want to continue doing this type of job?
    Do you want to do something different?
    What type of environment do you want to work in?
    In what capacity do you want to go back to work (full time, part time or casual)?
  • What have you got to offer?  Gain clarity within yourself on your knowledge, skills, experiences and strengths are that would benefit any employer.
  • Update your resume. Ensure that your resume is up to date.  Recruiters notice gaps in employment and therefore it may be worthwhile to explain why you have been out of the workforce.  You have every reason to be proud of being a Mother, cook, cleaner, entertainer, financial controller, taxi driver, negotiator and so much more!
  • What’s the gap?  Your dream career may be just around the corner and it’s important to consider what you may need to do to prepare yourself to get there.  For example, if you have been out of the workforce for a number of years and want to return to a similar job, you may require some up skilling to get you up to speed.  For example, a software course on the latest technology in your field, industry forum to gain insights into current trends or completing a new course.

 

As I mentioned, I’m not a mother and I therefore don’t know firsthand of the challenges faced in re-entering the workforce whilst raising a family.

I did have a time in my life that I was unemployed so I know that it can be tough sometimes to stay motivated and positive if you aren’t getting a job.  Hopefully the tips above will help prepare you for this transition.

Most importantly remember you are successfully raising a family and that takes something!

You have so much to offer, so it’s a matter of working out and selling your strengths so that employers can see the terrific employee they have in front of them.

Go great ‘em!

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