In this episode, Alex speaks with Sydney based recruitment expert Katie Hislop about how women can rev up their careers post kids. While discussing strategies to help women get back into the job seeker mentality, Alex and Katie both share their experiences as working mums. They also workshop how to find a flexible workplace, navigate the challenges and most importantly, how to shine!

Takeaways

  • You need to commit to the process. Get in the zone. Stop tinkering. If you need to get started – start talking to friends and family about who you are and where your interests lie. This will help you frame up your plan and help you develop some confidence.
  • Before you rush in to update your tech skills, decide what job area you are targeting and what the expectation of your tech experience would be. Don’t upskill for the sake of it – don’t spend the time and money unless you need to.
  • Don’t spend big money on a fancy CV. Bright colours, fancy formatting and photos aren’t necessary. Keep it between 2-4 pages. Ensure the language is punchy, positive and proactive. Start with a paragraph at the start of the CV which outlines your strengths, who you are and what you can deliver for somebody. Then include a career summary which includes your career history and then your achievements but keep these quantifiable and measurable.
  • Always include your time out of the workforce. This can be packaged up to demonstrate skill development to a potential employer. Whether it’s volunteering at the soccer club or helping in the library, this is absolutely of value. A career hiatus can also be a good opportunity to acquire new skills through volunteering that could be used for a new career phase.
  • Some industries are more suitable to freelance or part time jobs. Industries such as public relations, teaching and nursing.
  • The best way to find a flexible, part time job is to use your network.  Tap into your connections where someone knows you deliver and will ‘buy-in’ to bringing you in based on your flexible requirements. Alternatively, work full time for the first 3 months and then try to negotiate to a flexible arrangement.
  • Family friendly workplaces are becoming far more common. Alex recently visited Woolworths head office which allows employees to bring their kids to work, it also provides vacation care and of course has a supermarket and liquor store in the flyer! Ernst & Young offer a 12 week ‘LiveLife’ option which allows employees to take unpaid leave. Definitely worth targeting employers like these.
  • Confidence is a huge part of this journey. Fake it till you make it. Start talking about yourself to your friends and family. The more you talk through your plans – the more confident you will become in selling your message.
  • If you’re a brand-new mum who is contemplating how to juggle kids and career, Katie recommends ‘keeping a hand in’ subject to personal motivation, energy levels and personal situation.

Action Points

What you can start doing today to get back in the game:

  1. Clarify what it is you want to do. What industry you want to target and start defining what you are good at. Put your feelers out.
  2. Get you CV sorted – consider paying someone a few hundred dollars to provide feedback
  3. Get your Linked In profile up to date- particularly if you are targeting corporate opportunities. And treat it like a CV.
  4. Consider partnering up with a pal who is also thinking about relaunching their career. A career buddy – you can motivate each other and spend time nutting out your strategy before you get the head-hunter phase.
  5. Get your house in order before you go back to work. Clarify domestic responsibilities with your partner – who picks up the kids, what happens when the kids are sick. Who does dinner?Who is in charge of cleaning? Highly recommend a cleaner if you can manage it!
  6. Splurge on a new outfit! Hey – it’s a good excuse and will give you a boost. Wear it to the interview and then the first day. Make sure it is suitable for the industry you are targeting and that it is comfortable and maks you feel confident.
  7. Just do it!

Recipe of the Week – Chocolate Bliss Balls

If you need to pump out a lunchbox treat or afternoon tea offering in a flash then here’s your answer. I use my Thermomix to make these but any food processor would work just fine. And don’t forget you can substitute ingredients if your pantry is a little bare! No dates? Don’t despair – use sultanas! Cacao powder gone? Just use cocoa! I try to keep some in the freezer for those times I need a little boost! Sounds familiar? You can find the recipe here. Enjoy!