Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How to re-create yourself professionally as a working parent

The idea of a career change after having children is a popular idea among return to work parents. It may be because your existing workplace is inflexible, you want to work from home, you are dissatisfied with a less senior part time role, or you no longer wish to do what you have been doing for the last 10 years.

A career change can mark the start of an exciting new chapter in your professional life, but to get to that point you need to plan and address the who, what, why and how. What have you been doing up until now? What skills have you picked up along the way? How can you transfer your skills and adapt to a new environment? Often the answers lie in your resume – assuming you have kept it up to date.

Have a chat to your current or previous employer about your intentions and ask them for their opinion. You should also consider doing a short course on the industry you would like to move into. This will give you an insight into the typical processes, procedures, and lingo that you need to become familiar with.

As long as you have the core skill base required to make a career change, you can do anything. Becoming a parent is the ultimate life change, so a career change will be achievable.

1 comment:

grandmother said...

I am a career grandmother with a (long) strong professional background. I help my daughter's young family a lot and have done so since before her recent return to work. She partly relies on me for childcare, and thus for her own peace of mind in employment. I want both to continue to help out and to earn a part time income at the same time. I have the same right as all others to work using my hard-won professional expertise. Yet, I find I don't even get acknowledgements of resume receipt from many prospective employers or employment agencies. This, and interview behaviours, has led me to suspect that employers are put off by their best guess at my age - nudging 60. Flexibility in employment must apply to all, or it does not really apply to anybody. In my case, employer inflexibility may soon directly limit my daughter's capability to contribute so expertly in a much-needed area of social expertise. I may have to return to full time work. My other alternative is to work part time well outside my field of considerable expertise, for less pay.