5 Things Stay-at-Home Moms Can Do to Prepare for the Changing Job Market
Hopefully you won’t need to change anything, but it always feels better to be ready.
When I was 8 months pregnant with our first baby, my husband lost his job for the first time. He was working for Arthur Andersen, and everything fell apart during the Enron scandal. It was scary, but I hadn’t quit my teaching job yet, so I knew if I had to, I could keep working instead of staying home with our new baby like we’d planned. The second time he lost his job, I’d been home with our three boys for almost a decade. The company he was working for sold, and his position was consolidated. It happened so suddenly that it caught me off guard. My resume was out of date. My LInkedIn profile was laughable, and my teaching certificate had expired. With three little ones depending on us, that kind of vulnerability made me feel nauseous, and I committed to never being in a situation like that again. As our economy changes at breakneck speed, it’s hard to predict what the future is going to hold, so I want to share five things you can do right now to make sure you’re prepared to act if you need to.
Identify Your Natural Strengths
When the job market slows down, it’s important to get clear on who you are and what kind of job you might want because the people applying for jobs that align with their natural strengths are always going to be the ones who stand out in a crowd. When I’m working with job seekers, I use a series of assessments to help them pinpoint their strengths and interests so we can focus all of our efforts on industries where they’re going to shine. This exploratory process is also a great way to boost your confidence.
Gain New Skills and Certifications
Once you have a target industry in mind, determine what skills you need to gain or update to make yourself more competitive and cutting-edge. There are countless online certification programs that can add life and vitality to a stale resume, and some of them can be completed in a matter of days.
Revamp Your Resume
Modern resumes are lean, clean, and have a lot of visual impact, but the real key to having an effective resume is making sure that it has the right keywords for the job you’re looking for so that it will make it past the digital filters companies use to weed out resumes. While you’re home social distancing, you can create a Master Resume that includes all of your skills, experience, and accomplishments using the keywords that are relevant to your industry. That way, if you need to start applying for jobs, you can easily pull from your Master Resume to create targeted resumes with relevant keywords for any openings in your arena.
Optimize Your LInkedIn Profile
I know, I know. LinkedIn is not where most Stay-at-Home moms are hanging out, but that’s where 97% of recruiters and hiring authorities are searching for candidates, so it’s important to have a presence there. If you don’t have a profile, or if your profile isn’t optimized to come up in searches with language that stands out to recruiters, then this could be another valuable project to work on to set yourself up for a sudden jump back into the job market.
Reconnect With Your Network
In an ideal world, we would maintain all of our relationships and regularly touch base with everyone in our network, but let’s be honest, there are only so many hours in the day! Intentional networking is rarely on the top of our priority list unless we’re looking for work, but warming up your network before you need it is a solid strategy. Not only will this make you feel less like a beggar if you do need help later, but you might also find yourself in a position to help someone else. Plus, connecting with old acquaintances can do a lot to improve morale if you’re having a hard time being stuck at home.
Every day is bringing new changes, and the world feels strangely unfamiliar right now, but with a little bit of effort, you can let go of some of your fear by making sure you’re positioned and ready to get hired.