How Stay-at-Home Moms Can "Opt Back In" to Work

Stay-at-home moms– Don’t fall for the chatter that “opting out” of the workforce to raise kids sounds the death knell for your career. It is possible to get back in. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low in August– 5.1%. The jobs are there; it’s just a matter of finding one that is right for you.

Moms who have been out of the workforce for a while face a host of challenges, from explaining gaps in their resume to brushing up on skills to negotiating salaries. Wynn Burkett, a San Francisco-based career coach who runs “Getting Back in the Game” workshops for moms re-entering the workforce, says the biggest obstacle women face is loss of confidence.

“One of the biggest fears women have is feeling obsolete, like their previous skills and experiences are no longer relevant,” explains Burkett. “Stay-at-home moms often ask themselves, ‘Do I still have what it takes to be successful in the workplace?'”

While job hunting may seem like a daunting task, here are 10 practical steps you can take to help you decide what you want to do in your “next act” and how to get there.

1. Perform a self-assessment.
This means thinking deeply about why you want to go back to work. Whether you’ve been out for two years or ten, you need to assess what it is that you want and expect from your next job, or possible career. Are you going back to work for the money? To be in the presence of other adults? Because you want to find more meaning in your life? Your reasons for working at this stage in your life may not be the same ones that drove you in your pre-baby years.

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