Tips on Successfully Reentering the Workforce After Having a Family

Contributed by: Stephanie Eno, Staff Accountant

So many parents say: I wish I could stay home with the kids while they grow up. I was fortunate enough to have that opportunity.

It was a scary proposition; could we afford it? Would I go stir crazy? How do we make it all work?

We decided to take the plunge, and I left my job after seven years. It was the best thing that could have happened for my family. My spouse concentrated on work. I focused on the kids, house, sports, and everything else.

It was an amazing ten years.

The question eventually arose, what do I do now that the kids have grown? I was going a bit bonkers, so we decided it was time for me to go back to work.

Another terrifying proposition, how do I actually do that?

Some things to consider when re-entering the workforce:

  1. Part-time vs. full-time; what can you and your family handle? Perhaps you can ease your way into it.
  2. Flexibility; your kids still need you — will your new employer let you take time for appointments and school vacations?
  3. Proximity to home and schools- if your child is sick, how far is the doc from your job?
  4. Pursue the same thing you’ve always done or reinvent yourself and your career? I went back to basics, bookkeeping.
  5. All the volunteering at the school, sports, running around to get the kids where they need to be, that all counts on your resume; ”expert at time management, multi-tasking, supervision….”

 Some concerns: 

  1. I could no longer call myself a CPA. I let my license lapse while I was home. Would this impact my job opportunities? (Considering leaving the workforce? If possible, keep any certifications or educational requirements current).
  2. Would the employer and staff think I actually know anything? Or would they look at me as some mom that couldn’t possibly know anything because their moms don’t!
  3. Would I be able to figure out the software and hold my own in the office? Technology changes so fast! (not to worry, I didn’t miss much)

After rejoining the workforce, I realized the first opportunity I chose was not the best fit. Too many hours, too much stress, flexibility was not there. I ended up leaving after two and a half years but subsequently found a perfect part-time fit near my home with lots of flexibility and wonderful people. Don’t be afraid to find the best fit for your new career; life is too short to settle.