Just remember, the most important goal for this project is to help moms who have taken a break in their careers to be more confident when they decide to come back to the workforce.
However we are all different, and there is no such a thing as a magic formula that will work for everyone. Each woman has a unique experience being a mom. Maybe during this phase, you discover you don’t want to work anymore. Perhaps you learn other things about yourself and you want to start a new career. Or you just want to continue on the same career. I believe all options are good if they make you happy. There is no right or wrong. Follow your heart and you will find out your own way.
Firstly, we are going to do an exercise to help you organize your thoughts. You don’t need to show this exercise to anyone, this is just to help you. Sometimes when we write down our thoughts it’s easier to see the big picture.
Reflect for a moment. Remember your whole journey from pregnancy until now. What have you learned? For inspiration, read the soft skills list.
Take a sheet of paper and divide it into 3 parts. Choose 3 soft skills that are most relevant to you.
For each soft skill you are going to answer these questions:
A - Describe a situation you have experienced as a mom.
When have you applied this skill in a way you never did before?
Before we start
Soft Skill: Motivation
Every time that I have to teach something to my daughter I look her in the eye, I explain it to her carefully choosing words that she knows. I not only say it but also do it in front of her. After that, I give her space and time to practice. Every time she does something wrong I always try to point (to) some small thing that she did right and I keep encouraging her to practice. This happened when she was learning how to use a spoon, how to use the potty, and in many other situations.
At my previous job, every time I had to teach something to someone I used to send an email with all the information in it and I talked to them to be sure they didn’t have any questions. However, I didn’t always show them how to do it, and did not give them time and space to practice it.. Also, I often told them what they needed to improve and didn’t praise them for their accomplishments. Now I know others ways to teach.
Teach juniors, new employees or peers is always important but now I know better ways to do this in order to empower them in their journey and independent to do this task finding their own ways.
B - Think of a situation you encountered in your previous job. How do you think you could improve your performance using the soft skill you described in the previous exercise?
C - Based on your previous answers write a sentence about how you can apply that soft skill to your career today. You don't need to put it in your resume. However, it's important to be prepared in case the recruiter asks about it.
If you know any course or career coach specialized in helping moms to come back to the workforce, share in the comments below and I will keep this content always updated. Also, if you know other ways to talk about soft skills in a resume, don't be shy and write a comment below. I'll be glad to complement my list.
Now that you are aware and more confident let's prepare for the interview!
Usually, recruiters and managers pay more attention when you say things in a confident way.
Let's be prepared and show that you are ready to come back to the workforce.
If you decide to look for a job, keep in mind that a good resume will not be enough. You may also need to take some courses and read, in order to get up to date. Another good option is to look for a career workshop or to hire a career coach to design a strategy with you.
If you decide not to include the soft skills in your resume, it's OK. However, they might ask you about the gap, blank or hole in your resume.
Be prepared to answer something like this in a confident way:
"I decided to take some time to dedicate to my kids. They were too young and they needed me. During this time I improved some soft skills such as organization, planning, teamwork. This period was really important for us as a family. Also, I could reflect on my career and know that now I have everything setup and I am ready to get focused on a new job."
If the recruiter asks more questions about soft skills you can remember the exercise we did and talk to them about the examples we practiced.
Usually, resumes in the US are only one page long. Let's be brief and save all explanations to the interview.
These websites have a few examples of how to do a resume page: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Resume or https://www.myperfectresume.com They don't say anything about soft skills, but I like their structure.
In theSkills part of the resume you can write one line like this:
"Soft skills improved me as a mom: multitasker, planner, empathy, and patience."
If you send your resume with a cover letter you can insert a paragraph describing this phase:
"From 2014 to 2016, I fully dedicated my time to raising my kids. This period was really important for us as a family, and also allowed me to reflect on my career. Now, I am ready to focus on a new job and apply the soft skills I learned.
During my experience as a full-time mom, I became an efficient multitasker, improved my planning skills, and became more empathetic and patient.”
Unfortunately they don't have yet a specific part for this content. But you can add one line at the end of your summary just like I wrote on the Resume content above.
If in your profession people usually offer a portfolio you can add your kids as a project. I'm a designer, and in my portfolio I chose to include 1 photo of my daughter and I wrote something like this:
"In March of 2014, I became the proud mom of a beautiful girl. I knew that motherhood would be a moment of profound learning and I decided to take sometime to fully enjoy this learning experience.
In partnership with my husband, we are having a great experience raising this beautiful human being. With moments of deep reflection on my own life and how I can be a better human being for the world - and what world I'm building for her.
Motherhood is more than just a crash course on how to be a better human being, it is one of the best ways to exercise fresh, innovative ways to see the world through my baby's eyes. I became more of a multitasker, increased my skills as a planner, and extend my degree of empathy and patience."