When women decide to re-enter the workforce after taking time off for children, they may feel a lack the confidence to compete in the job market. Depending on your industry and how long you have been out of the workforce there are things you can do to help build your confidence.
First determine where you lack confidence.
Do you feel a general sense of not having kept up with industry trends? Have your technical skills gotten rusty? Take classes to sharpen your technical skills and get back up to speed. Start networking with others in your industry. Have lunch with former co-workers and get caught up on the latest news.
Are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of being away from home and children for eight hours a day?
Consider starting with part-time work, or telecommute if that is appropriate, to ease back into a work routine. Many moms run very successful home-based businesses.
Better yet, stay current with your industry while you are away from work.
Are you concerned about your salary level?
Don't assume that just because you haven't worked in a few years that you will necessarily get less money. Do some research and find out what the current pay rate is for the position you will apply for.
If you are starting in a new career field, don't assume that you must start at an entry-level pay rate. ( See my Step-by-Step guide to change your career ). Emphasize the transferable skills you bring from your prior occupation.
Are you feeling nervous about having to explain employment gaps on your resume? It helps to seek employment at mom-friendly companies. Every year Working Mother magazine lists their top 100 recommendations. Ask your friends, families and colleagues how family friendly their employers are. When writing your resume include all the activities your were involved with while not "working" including volunteer positions and describe them in professional terms. Did you lead a girl scout organization? Did you teach at your son's school? Did you manage the fundraising for the little league team? All of these activities show that your leadership and organizational skills are up to date.