Coach me … if you can
Full-Time Mom Returning to Work
I’ve been a full-time mom for six years and need to get a job because of a recent divorce. How do I explain the gap? Will anyone hire me? I have a degree in biology (from an Ivy League university) and an MBA (also from an Ivy League university), and I was a VP of marketing before I had kids. Am I hopeless?
– Anxious Mom
Dear Anxious, Hopeless? Nah. I’ve worked with many women who were in your situation. The key elements of your particular job search are, first, a strong resume – emphasize your education and previous work experience. If you want, list “full-time parent” as a job and put any volunteer or leadership positions held during that time. Own the gap – if it doesn’t bother you, it won’t bother others. Second, an elevator speech – have a quick, three- or four-sentence pitch you can deliver to tell people exactly what kind of job you are looking for. Third, get your team together – identify people who know how good you are and who will be your big supporters and boosters. In my experience, it’s your boosters who will connect you with a job or even hire you. Make sure they know what you want and teach them to recite your elevator speech just as well as you can. And last, play to your strengths – believe it or not, having been home with your kids might just be a strength. Who knows? The woman doing the hiring may have made the same transition you’re making and will be willing to give you the chance you need. Best of luck!