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Transitioning from Stay-at-Home Mom to the Paid Workforce...

Career Exploration The Hiring Process Success on the Job

Question: I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last 15 years. Now it’s time for me to get back in the paid workforce. What sort of job should I look for? Answer: There are two answers to this question. The simple answer is that you should look for a job that you will love. (The job that just popped into your mind is the answer to that question.) The more complicated answer deals with transferable skills. Many people who have been stay-at-home parents for a number of years think they have no skills; of course, that’s nonsense. Stay-at-home parents develop long lists of skills and accomplishments that sound like job titles (e.g., chef, chauffeur, child development specialist, budget analyst.) Estimates of their worth (in dollars, which is surely not the best way to measure it) vary from $60,000 to over $120,000. Check out this website: www.myskillsmyfuture.org. You can type in a job title you’ve held, and My Skills My Future will give you a list of jobs that use similar skills. For instance, if you put in “homemaker,” it brings back 20 job titles, including preschool teacher, nonfarm animal caretaker, concierge and psychiatric technician. If you click on the job title, it will tell you about the skills needed, the essential duties, what training you need, and the tools you use in the job. The site will compare the skills you use currently, and even the average pay, to another job. You can click on another link and see job leads. If you see one you like, you can click on yet another link to apply for it. If you aren’t comfortable just clicking around, there is a little graphic of a video camera near the top of the screen. It will show you a video that demonstrates how the site works. The beauty of the My Skills My Future site is that it gets you thinking out of your employment box. It focuses on things you already know how to do, but applies them in ways that you might not think of. In addition, it gives you a way to apply that knowledge right away. Take a look!