In my meetings with mums who are returning to work, there is often one overriding fear.
No, it’s not what to wear to an interview (although that is probably number 2).
“I have been out of the workforce for too long, no-one is going to want to hire me”
There are so many reasons that Mums make great employees. And I should know, I have hired plenty of mums in my career. I never see motherhood as a hindrance, but as an asset to my team. I work with a lot of mums getting them back into the workforce at Mumma Bird Resume Services. Let me tell you what I tell my clients. Mums bring the kind of invaluable skills and experience to the workplace that you can’t learn in a classroom.
Mums work hard
I’m not sure if it’s the simple fact that compared to juggling babies and wrangling toddlers, going to work to focus on a task that has a start and an end, is actually enjoyable. In my experience Mums get in, get the job done with little fuss and take a great deal of pride in their work. Remember Mums are often functioning on 3 hours sleep and still managing to keep the entire family alive. Are non-mums just as capable? Sure but they would probably call in sick rather than work 8 hrs on 3 hours sleep.
Mums don’t give up
One thing you learn from motherhood is to keep going no matter what and that element of persistence is like gold in the workplace. During the first years of being a mum, you surprise yourself at how often you plough through a pile of disasters and don’t end up in a ball in the corner crying. (Well, there are a lot of tears in parenthood, but you learn, even in those moments, to get them out and move on).
Mums have mastered the multi-task
If you can drive, pass a water bottle, unwrap a cheese stick and change the music while booking a doctor’s appointment you can probably handle most workplaces. You quickly learn to prioritise when you walk into a room with 4 kids in various stages of undress, sickness and impending disaster. So managing a reception desk with 4 clients all wanting your attention is a walk in the park. At least none of them will attach themselves to your leg or lie on the floor and scream if they have to wait. That would be weird.
Take a look in the mirror and realise you have more to offer than a lot of applicants.
And then go shopping for that kick-ass outfit for the interview. Your next employer is damn lucky to have you.
We are Mums too. For support and advice on selling yourself in a CV and application letter, please visit http://mummabird.com.au and we can arrange a catch up over a coffee or a wine to discuss your needs.