Helping Stay At Home Parents Return to WorkThough many return-to-work parents will jump start their previous career, a Wharton School study found that only 39% take the same type of job as when they left. This benefits many employers who may find themselves in the enviable position of hiring someone with skill sets over-and-above what they have a need to fill.

Smart hiring managers, and there are lots of them out there, realize that returning parents have more to offer than even the stay-at-home mom or dad may realize. A high-level of motivation, multi-tasking skills, potential business contacts, and an innate understanding of what humans want and need can translate into a benefit for many organizations.

I am thinking of one special woman I know who raised her kids and, in her spare time, wrote blogs and articles for a local publication. The company that hired her has a fantastic administrative assistant with superb writing skills…not to mention her awesome people skills, no doubt learned from raising her family and networking her writing.

Back to my point: Parents need to capitalize on their time at home by focusing on how much they contributed. Helping at a child’s school or doing other volunteer work can translate into being able to meet deadlines, as well as having great organizational and time management skills. What about that quarterly newsletter written for a home association? And, organizing the fundraiser for your local community center? These are experiences that align with job responsibilities in the workforce.

  • Let’s get right to it. Here are a few TO DOS to help return-to-work parents get back into the workforce:
  • List all the tasks you do for your family, your community and for yourself – don’t forget those hobbies
  • What skill/function do each of these tasks translate into in the workplace
  • Include these skills in a resume focusing on functionality rather than chronology
  • Start networking with current and past friends/colleagues and getting the word out that you are seeking a position – have that resume ready!

I don’t usually write a plug for PurposeWorks, but I’m going to do it this time. Doug Anders is very skilled at helping return-to-workers get all this down on paper and market themselves. I’ve seen him to do it time and again. Give him a call when you have a spare moment.

– Heather McBride, SPHR
Oregon Career Counselors, Resume Writing Service