How Can a Stay-at-Home Parent Sharpen Their Skills to Get Back into the Workforce?

Many parents who “opt out” of the workforce to raise their children face anxiety when they are ready to opt back in.  Today’s business environment evolves so fast, the skills you had when you left your job might be obsolete today. But don’t fret. Former stay-at-home parents relaunch their careers successfully every day, and you can, too. Here’s how to sharpen your skills to make yourself more marketable to employers.

“Remain confident on the outside even if you’re a bit nervous on the inside.  Mimic the other persons body language and nod your head often showing you understand.  Body language says just as much as the words you use to express your relevant experience and capabilities.” Says Sharon Tsao, EVP, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Study Job Descriptions

You can’t plan your re-entry into the workforce if you don’t know what employers are actually looking for. Take some time to study job descriptions and job postings to determine the skills employers are looking for in your niche. Make a list of all the skills you find, and take note of those that seem to pop up the most.

Next, take an inventory of your own skills to determine the gaps between the skills employers are looking for and the skills you currently have. This way, you’ll know exactly which skills to focus on building as you develop a plan of attack.

Take Classes To Sharpen Your Skills

Thanks to the internet, there are online classes for everything. From software to business math to chemistry and everything in between, you can brush up on your skills online.  Sites like Lynda, Skillshare and Udemy are great places to begin.

If you have the time and the financial resources, it can be wise to invest in certifications, as well. If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, you’ll want to take every opportunity available to you to “prove” your skills.

Volunteer While You Search

It is an unfortunate fact that the longer you’ve been out of the workforce, the harder it becomes to break back in. One way you can sharpen your skills and make yourself more marketable is to volunteer. If possible, try to find an opportunity that aligns with your ultimate career goal. If you want to get back into sales, look for an opportunity to fundraise, for example.

Volunteering provides you with practical experience and helps you hone your skills while also getting you back into the groove of working a regular schedule.  And of course, you have the added bonus of knowing that you’re giving back to your community. Just make sure to showcase volunteer work on your resume.

Seek Non-Traditional Routes

If your ultimate goal is to get back to work full time, there are several ways to get there. One effective way to sharpen your skills and build your resume is to work with a staffing firm to secure part-time, temporary or contract work. These types of engagements allow you to test out different types of jobs and work environments while helping you beef up your resume.  It is also possible to parlay temporary assignments into full-time positions if the company has opportunities and if you exceed expectations on the assignment.

Re-entering the workforce can be a challenge, but you can get back to work at a great job faster with a professional recruiter on your side. If you are ready to accelerate your job search, reach out to the recruiting experts at CSS today.