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Re-entering the workforce

Guess what, girls? I did it! I went back to work (part-time).

Guess what else? You can do it, too!

If you are like me, you have been blessed with the opportunity to stay home with your tots and take on the job of full-time mom. And while I loved (and still love) every single second of staying home with my kids, there was always a nagging itch to go back to my career… to put on real clothes and put my education and previous experience to work.

So how did I do it?

The first thing I did was to stop making excuses. You can come up with a million reasons why you shouldn’t go back to work (and believe me, I did!), but if that itch is still there (which it was), then it’s time to reevaluate. Listen, you don’t know unless you try! So, stop coming up with excuses not to work, and make a list of reasons why you should to go back to work.

The next step, which I think is one of the most important steps, is to define what you really want. Is it full-time, part-time, flexible hours, working from home, going to an office – or a combination of a few of these? Lucky for us, in today’s working environment there are a lot of options. As you get out there and network or interview, be clear on what you want. Stick to it and don’t feel bad about it. It may take a little longer to land that perfect position, but it will be worth the wait if it fits your wants and needs.

Prepare the home front. Going from full time mom to working mom doesn’t just affect you – it’s going to affect everyone in your house. I would be lying if I told you the transition is going to be easy. It’s not. It takes planning, organizing and something I’d never really done before… asking for help! You’re probably going to need help in one form or another, so start getting comfortable with the idea that you are going to have to ask for it.

Planning makes perfect. You really need to plan for how you’re going to do it all. Carpools, childcare, laundry, food shopping and the eight million appointments that are part of raising a family, to name a few. It all has to get done, so it’s best to have a plan of attack.

Know and accept that things are not going to be the same. There might be dishes left in the sink. You might have to get up in the wee hours of the morning just to fit in some fitness, and your kids might actually have to make their own lunches or do their own laundry (gasp). Once you accept that things will be different, but will still be okay (maybe even better!), then you can move forward.

Once you’ve done all this, it’s time to just go for it! Keep in mind, lots of people do it every day. They’ve figured it out and so will you! And if I’ve learned anything about re-entering the working world, it’s that all things are possible. Finding the right tribe and the support that you need will enable you to get there faster and to feel better doing it!

Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst