Returning to work after a long break can be exciting but also intimidating. If you’re a new parent, you may struggle to return to the workforce for many reasons. However, you can quickly and easily transition from a full-time parent to a full-time employee by following our tips.

How to Transition Back Into the Workforce

Most professionals worry that they won’t find fulfilling job prospects after a career break, but that isn’t the case. If you prepare for your job search, you can successfully return to the workforce.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Job searches take several weeks or months, but they often take longer for parents returning to the workforce. An ASA study found that people who took time off to care for their families are half as likely to receive a call for an interview compared to other unemployed individuals.
While there’s nothing fair about that statistic, it’s unfortunately true. However, you can make yourself more hireable by acting as if you’ve already returned to work. With the right mindset, you’ll start seeing yourself and speaking to others as a confident, working professional.

2. Use an Online Resume Builder

Writing a resume can be a chore, but you can use resume makers, like, to make the process easier. However, you’ll still need to detail your work experience in a way that’s attractive to employers without omitting the fact that you were a stay-at-home parent.
While your cover letter can go into more detail as to why you took your break, you can use your resume to explain that you have the time to commit to a new career. Be sure to add transferable skills, like budget management and volunteer projects, like child care or mentorship.

3. Make a Job Search Plan

Knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it is the best way to keep you on track. With a job search plan, you can set actionable goals and tasks that help you prepare for the workforce, if necessary. For example, you may want to update your skills or start networking.
Go down your list and tackle the most pressing tasks first, like developing your personal brand or constructing the perfect elevator pitch. You’ll also need to improve your interviewing skills and become familiar with job search websites. Don’t fall for ads that over-promise or push MLMs.

4. Update Your Social Profiles

Whether you’re a freelancer with a portfolio or an experienced engineer, a social presence is necessary. Most employers will look through your social profiles for anything questionable. If you don’t have any social media profiles, potential employers may think you’re hiding something.
Before you start filling out applications, audit your social media presence. Delete or private anything that could reflect poorly on you. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, make one right away. LinkedIn can help you connect with employers and showcase your relevant skills.

5. Practice Tough Interview Questions

Most people, even employers, don’t consider topics surrounding childcare as personal. They may think it’s OK to ask you difficult questions that aren’t relevant to the job, like: 
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Your potential employers aren’t legally allowed to ask these questions, but they probably will. In these scenarios, you can either answer directly, make a joke, or ask how this question relates to your job. Remember: It’s your choice whether you want to accept the job or leave the interview.

6. Set Hard Boundaries at Your Job

When you get a job, you may be pressured to stay at work longer than your designated end time. A lot of parents run into this problem, and they find it hard to say “no” to their boss. But if you discuss your boundaries with your employer, you need to regularly enforce them.
If your boss continues to push you, but you can’t afford to lose this job, explain to them that you can work from home or join them for a meeting at another time. It’s in your best interest to find another job ASAP, as your boss has already declared they don’t respect your free time.


Claire Ward