Stay-at-home Moms: let’s talk employability. You may never want to work again, but it’s far better to choose not to walk through an open door than to have it slammed in your face. Here are some simple tips to help you stay employable, which is a really good idea for your for your financial protection.
Tip 1: Stay employable by keeping up your credentials.
If you are in a field that is licensed, a vital way to stay employable is to keep renewing that license. In many cases, it is cheaper and easier to stay licensed than it is to become licensed again. This also makes it easier for you to jump in immediately in the event of a major life shift. It may seem ridiculous to spend money on a license or credential you don’t see yourself using any time soon, but I think of it as insurance. You hope to not use it, but you’re awfully glad it’s there.
Tip 2: Stay employable by staying current in your field.
In order to stay employable, you should stay up-to-date on the publications and movements within your field. Keep subscribing to those work-related magazines and journals. When an interviewer inevitably asks what you’ve been doing in the years since you last worked in the field, you’ll be able to speak about how you kept your finger on the pulse.
Tip 3: Keep in contact with your references.
This is something I really failed at. Professional references are required for most careers, and you certainly don’t want the first time you speak to someone after five years to be when you’re asking them to be your reference. Go out for coffee once in awhile—it’ll also be great to have some adult time—and keep them on the holiday card list.
Tip 4: Keep your resume updated.
You might be thinking, “Resume? What do you mean? I spend my days wiping noses and sweeping up crumbs.” True, but I bet that’s not all that you’re doing. I don’t know a single mother—working outside the home or not—who doesn’t volunteer in some capacity. Also, super-part time and/or gigs related to your field still count. Were you a teacher? Tutor. An accountant? Offer a firm some additional help around tax time. Little by little, you’ll keep the gaps out of your resume and stay employable.
Staying home can be incredibly rewarding, but the time may come where you realize you cannot do it anymore. Whether the impetus is children going back to school, a change in your relationship status, a financial need, or just the desire to talk to other adults on a regular basis, it is important to make sure that you stay employable so you have the ability to go back to work if you ever want or need to.