5 Essential Tips for Homeschool Moms Returning to the Workforce

At the very beginning of our homeschool journey I intentionally kept one foot in the working world, thinking that I'd ease my transition back into the workforce. That is until a couple of years ago, when my "job" became helping my elderly disabled mother through her last days. I let my work slip to be a caregiver.

Since Mom died last summer I've floundered a little professionally. It seems that the "world of work" is changing so rapidly that people move on, technology changes, and tried-and-true options vanish in the blink of eye.

And so, at 46 years of age and with a child still at home for a couple of more years, I became a "workforce reentry" gal.


In my mind that phrase conjures up images of 1980s women in professional dress toting briefcases. Fortunately, even though I struggled with my own mid-life reality, I had an extra set of tools in my tool kit.  

You see, once upon a time, I ran a university career center.

Granted, that was a long time ago, before I became a writer and stay-at-home mom and eldercare provider. Nevertheless, that old job gave me a framework for figuring out what I could do to get things moving in the present.

If you're a homeschool mom ready to go back to work, then I think you can learn something useful from my knowledge and experience. (Plus, since I've used these tips and tricks myself over the last couple of months, I've picked up some new work, new leads, and outlined a long-term career plan that has me pumped.)

Here's what I suggest you try:

1. Assess your skills and interest. Take a hard look at what skills you have to offer and which ones might transfer readily to other domains. If you get stuck here, look to your college alma mater or even local community college for career services support. City- and state-run career development centers may be available to you; if so, use them. Library books can come in handy as well. (A few select book recommendations appear below, beneath "Explore More.").

2. Research your options. Come up with a list of jobs that you might be able to find--locally and/or online--that are good possibilities. Talk to trusted friends and family about what you'd like to find. Join online groups related to your field and, when appropriate, ask questions. Get informed and let people know you're looking.

Thinking of starting your own business? Seek out local agencies that may provide start-up assistance specific to women.

3. Close experience gaps. I've been writing professionally for years, but I just completed a round of webinars to get a better sense of field. The online classes helped me to see better my strengths and weaknesses, giving me insights on where to refine my resume.

Depending upon your unique career concerns, you may need a class. Or perhaps you can find what you need in a book or website related to your chosen field. Don't forget to reach out to old contacts like coworkers and employers to see what's new and interesting in your field. More information in your head and conversations with colleagues increases your self-assuredness.

And you don't need me to tell you that confidence is attractive to prospective employers and other people in your professional network.

4. Revisit your resume and LinkedIn profile. What worked well on paper years ago may seem outdated now. Look up resume samples online and at the library. Create a rough draft and ask a friend to edit it. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure it reflects your strengths and projects your ability to work in the field of choice.

Actually, whether or not you have a LinkedIn account--and even if you're looking for part-time or lower key seasonal work, it's a good idea to take a look at your "digital footprint," ensuring that there are no public comments or photographs that might derail your job hunt. (Food for thought on that topic can be found here.)

5. Start the job search process mindfully. Trust that it takes time, trial, and error to get back on your feet. It can be frustrated to see jobs on contracts filled by other candidates, and you may find you need to go back through steps one through four a few times. Don't give up. Remember too that the higher the salary you're aiming for, the longer it will take to find a job. If necessary, you take a harder look at going back to school or picking up temporary work to bring your references up to date.

Restarting your career is a process, and processes take time. But I bet you'll get where you want to be with patience, persistence, thorough research, good planning, and a little faith in yourself.

Pamela Price is the author of How to Work and Homeschool (GHF Press, 2013) She blogs at RedWhiteandGrew.com.

Find and follow How to Work and Homeschool on Facebook.

Explore More:

A helpful compendium of online sites for work-from-home job seekers can be found here.
• Helpful related articles on workforce reentry can be found at Monster.com, Forbes, Vogue.
Path Forward is a non-profit that helps women with reentry issues.

The following books may be of interest to you regarding this article's topic. You can purchase them via Amazon or use these links to help you locate them in your local library. Good luck!

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