After years of looking after your children, there may come a time for you to think about getting back into the workplace. Perhaps your children are at school full time, or are at least old enough to look after themselves without you needing to be at their beck and call 24/7. The idea of going back to work can be very appealing, particularly if you are tired of looking at the same four walls a day as a stay at home mum.
If you have the opportunity to get back out into the job market, we have some great advice for you. Whether you are taking tentative steps or are desperate to kickstart a new life for yourself immediately, we have some ideas to help you on your way.
Going back to school
We need to be realistic, so some job roles will require you to go back to school. You don’t have to accept low paid jobs or something that will get you out of the house for a few hours. There is the possibility of an actual career, and there are more adults than you would imagine getting back into education. Dependent on your circumstances, there are a number of options you could take, including taking an open learning course for home study or enrolling on a part or full-time course at a local college or university as a mature student. However, there are also career opportunities which require you to train on the job, so you can earn money while building up the skills needed.
You may be put off education, especially if you hated school. The thought of writing essays, doing homework, and sitting in class may be something you thought you would never have to do again. Then there are the costs involved. How on earth can you afford to pay the course fees? Well, you can put your mind at rest, because despite your reservations, returning to school doesn’t have to break your bank account or give you sleepless nights because you are afraid of the workload.
Regarding finances, you can apply for government grants and bursaries. Visit gov.uk/grant-bursary-adult-learners and have a look at the various options available. In some cases, you don’t have to pay the fees back, so there is added incentive to take the plunge back into the employment waters.
Then there is the issue of the workload you will be expected to take on. Despite your reservations, you will find yourself better equipped to handle it than you realise. There is plenty of support for mature students. Many training centres offer one to one guidance with a tutor, so you can relay any concerns you have and get any extra help you need. There are also student groups where you can work with other adult learners to support and learn from each other. To assist you further, many places offer specialist courses to help you brush up on your skills, from writing essays to taking exams.
You might also be fearful of your skills with technology. Yes, your skills at Candy Crush are second to none, but sitting on a computer and writing more than an email may be beyond you, or so you think. Again, there are training courses in computers, from going right back to basics to more advanced levels. Unless you are considering a career in computer coding, you only need to learn the essential skills for your course, such as using Microsoft Office and improving your typing.
Transferring your mum skills
There are many possibilities in the workplace that you may not have considered. You might think you are under equipped to take on some of the job roles you see advertised. Your c.v. may be out of date, and having been out of work for so long, you may not know what to put under the job skills section. Believe it or not, you have picked up a huge range of skills as a mother that can easily equate into the job market.
Here are some of the skills you have probably picked as a parent, and there are some ideas for job roles. You are in control of your destiny, and these ideas may inspire you.
Schools can’t teach you everything, and as a mother, you know you have to solve problems on a daily basis. Your child comes home from school and tells you they are being bullied. What do you do about it? You see the problem, talk to your child and try and find a solution such as ringing the school or offering guidance. When problems arise at home, you deal with them like the responsible mother you are.
While most jobs require you to solve problems in one way or another, have a look at uk.businessinsider.com for high flying careers for anybody with skills in this area.
Dealing with difficult behaviour
Kids, as well as adults, are a hotbed of emotions. One day we can feel fine, but when something upsets us, we experience a range of feelings, from anger to depression. Your kids will have displayed a range of emotions and behaviour patterns over the years, and you will have learned ways to deal with them, from asserting rules in the home to showing compassion and understanding.
There are jobs in psychology where you can specialise in challenging behaviour. Now, there are many children whose behaviour goes beyond what you would expect from somebody so young. Considering they may have had a difficult upbringing, these kids may not have had a parent as caring as you, though there can be any number of reasons behind their difficult emotions. If you have the strength and care to help, you might consider a career in psychology. Have a look at staffnurse.com jobs for examples of roles you might want to train in.
Mums are some of the hardest-working people on the planet, and they have to juggle all kinds of tasks throughout the day. Cleaning the home, talking to your kids, helping with homework, supporting your partner, doing the cooking… the list of tasks you have to do are endless, and some of these you manage within the same time window.
Worried about how you are going to take on the demands of education, have a career role and run the household? You are already half way there from all the time you have put in as a parent. Many jobs require you to multitask, and some of them can be found here, jobs.lovetoknow.com.
You are an expert, especially when it comes to your children. From the day your kids were born, you have been communicating with them. You may have helped them understand a storybook, such as the ones we loved at Baby Book Club. You will have explained rules around the house, listened to your kids problems, and debated over family issues. Your communication skills, both talking and listening, have always been in high demand. Body language is also a part of communication, so while you may not have been that interested in your child’s explanation of the latest video game, you will have looked interested, even if you were slowly deflating inside.
Again, many jobs require excellent communication skills, but if you are especially skilled at talking to children, you should consider teaching. Have a look at how you can go about it here, getintoteaching.education.gov.uk, and think about what age range would suit your skills.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. All opinions are our own.