Am I scared? Hell yes I'm scared! Am I excited? So much so that I am about to burst! Here is how it all got started... Last year there were a group of us mothers that basically raised our babies together. By the time our kids were 4 months old we named ourselves Play Group. Every Wednesday we would meet around 1pm right after naps and get the babies together. By the time the older ones turned two we were all pregnant with the second. Except for one that had twins first she, was pregnant with her third. Husbands were always traveling and out of town. Getting to Wednesday with any sort of sanity got harder. Soon Wednesday started at 1:00 and ended with dinner. We did that for about six years until everyone started different schools then playgroup moved to Christmas Break and Summer only... all the way through high school. Then we blinked and last year our first borns were graduating. Through out the last two years we have all been testing the waters of going back to work. One went back part time as a teacher, then full time, then she went back to school and is now a middle school counselor. Another went full time to help her husband with his business. Two more of us went part time in teaching and sales. I have free lanced my entire life and technically never really stopped working, but I haven't even thought about full time until recently. Now that the kids are pretty much out of the house Play Group is now Girls Night Out the Last Wednesday of every month. We have all been itching to re invent ourselves and make a difference, be heard, use new skills, learn more... but here is the crux. We are now ready to get paid for all our hard work and to be part of something new. How do you do that after you have been on the mommy track and volunteering for 10-15 years?
Test the waters. If you want to go back to school. Figure out why you want to go back now. Is it worth it? Will it help you get where you want? Do you need it? Maybe you just want to get back on a campus? Do your homework and make it happen if it's what you want. There are lots of websites and articles like THIS ONE with great advice and steps to take. I didn't want school even though a few play group moms did. I wanted to know if I could commit to mandatory hours after being a free lance junkie for so many years. I started small with a part time job that required scheduled hours. I did this for a year and a half and found not only did I enjoy it, I LOVED it! Regardless if I was scheduled Saturday or Sunday it didn't matter. I had re caught the bug and I wanted more! My husband wanted to know if I was crazy. He would say it's retail what's the big deal. The big deal was having a place to go with expectations. Talking and socializing and meeting new people was refreshing. I enjoyed helping customers feel beautiful and purchasing items that made them look fabulous. It was like after I played tennis and we would go shopping with girlfriends before carpool pick up. But now I was getting paid. It's fun and keeps me up to snuff on fashion and the discount was the icing on the cake! Fast forward to January 2015. I am still freelancing and I have my odd jobs. I also have all my volunteering which I love. But I can feel the hunger for more building... it is time. Where do I start now that I have admitted to myself that I am ready to head back into the work force full time? I want to do something in communications. Be part of something big that will make a difference.
Step #1 Resume, you gotta dust that bad boy off and update it. This is where volunteering is key. For all the years you got stuck chairing a committee, working on excel until midnight, organizing the auction or budgeting for a fundraiser... it's time to cash in on all those skills and transfer them to your resume. Yes that's right ALL those skills translate into business terms (operations, marketing, development), include every single one of them on your updated resume. Don't sell yourself short, remember you did all this while raising a family! Don't think for one moment that you aren't qualified or ready for the full time work force. We volunteer because we love to help and be part of a team doing good for our community. I found that employers want the same thing. They want team players and hard workers. Not everyone is ready to take it to the next step but when you are, know that your volunteering has been laying the ground work. It ALL counts! Hard work is hard work! Is it scary? Absolutely! Yet, it's also contagiously exciting, which overcomes scary. Change is intimidating even when you feel ready. Here is what I have learned. Be patient, the interview process is long. Applying on line gets easy after the first few, (there were some I never heard back from... their loss). Most online applications are followed by a phone screening interview, (be prepared and ready to talk for 20-30 minutes this is just as important as the face to face, remember you are trying to get in the door). If you get pass the screening next is usually an interview at the job site. Depending on the level of the job you could have even more interviews, with the CEO, President or a panel interview. Here are some tips for returning to the workforce.
This is a new journey for me as I am switching careers and going into 9-5 mode (actually 8-5 Egads). It's time... I'm ready for a new chapter. My family is supportive and my kids are so very proud and now young adults. They never knew the mommy that worked 50+ hours a week before they were born. My only other concern is where this blog will land with my new adventure. My hope is to continue sharing my experiences and findings as I try to figure it all out with hormones a ragging while adding a full time job to the mix. One thing I do know, it should make for a hell of a ride! Coming soon... I'll change my face book status and let you know about the new job. I start Monday!
Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!
Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
*above photo by Pulsemusic.proboards.com