Transitioning from Career to Stay-at-Home Mom


by Teri Hockett

Whew! Moms who stay at home… what a big decision you made, and I know it was not easy. There are many considerations when you are weighing the options of stepping out of the paid workforce; financial, emotional, and career to say the least. For me, the overriding issue was guilt!

I was struggling with all the guilt that comes with being a working mom. When I was at work I was feeling guilty about not being home with my children; when I was at home I was feeling guilty about not getting my work done, or letting my colleagues and boss down.

It seemed like my mind was never in the same place as my body. Instead of being able to really enjoy each moment, all I could focus on was what wasn’t getting done.

When the opportunity presented itself after the birth of my second child I jumped on it. My husband and I worked out the details and I was no longer working for pay. I had great plans in addition to being a full-time mom. I was going to organize the family photos, make play dates for the girls, have a regular workout schedule, coffee with friends, and keep the house clean.

Years later those pictures are still not organized, but I did relish every moment with my girls. We have many wonderful memories. I loved being able to walk them to and from school, and be there for homework with homemade cookies; it was picture-perfect.

After about ten years in this ideal situation I was ready to go back to work part-time. Now came the difficult part, trying to reconstruct my previous work life. Having gone thru the process, I discovered some things below that would of been good to know back then.

4 Tips Before and During the Transition

1. Take a Snap Shot

Write and/or update your resume as soon as you make the transition, while all the information is readily available. While things are fresh in your mind you want to think about your Problem Solution Results (PSRs); what were the problems that you were presented with at work, what solutions did you implement, and what were the results of your actions. It’s also ideal to capture your Statistical Measurable Results (SMRs) for each position that you have held.

2. Stay Connected

Stay in contact with colleagues, regardless if you’re working with them or not. Make sure to attend business seminars and conferences to stay current in your field/industry. Consider continuing your education as well.

3. Keep your Certifications

Find out what it takes to keep any certifications or licenses you currently hold. It will be easier to keep your certifications valid, compared to reinstating them. Plus, you will keep your knowledge current.

4. Capture Valuable Information

As a stay-at-home mom you will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in a variety of activities. Such as:

  • Caring for an ill family member or aging parent.
  • Managing a home remodeling project.
  • Raising your children and running a household.
  • Volunteering: PTA, Cub Scout Leader, charities.

It’s all valuable information about you. You control whether or not this information appears on your resume. However the skills and experiences during your time off say something about you and help when you are ready to re-enter the workforce. Begin by creating a list of what you have done and the skills you have used, such as:

  • Organized information
  • Mentored or managed others
  • Oversaw a budget
  • Contracted with other companies

Think about how often you handled these activities and the value they contribute. You are now in possession of job-worthy skills that can be successfully translated into a new job opportunity. Throughout this process, update your resume. Whether or not you will ever return to the paid workforce is typically your decision (other times it is dictated by circumstances), but wouldn’t it be great if you were prepared.

What’s For Work? is here to help you prepare, by providing you a place to document your past work experience and capture what you are currently doing while it’s still fresh in your mind. Let us help you translate the value of your skills and experience to your profile and resume, so you’ll be ready down the road.

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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