A SAHM would earn roughly $117,000 if she were paid for being a mom. Too bad you can’t use that information during salary negotiations as you head back into the workforce.
Relaunching a career after years of diaper duty is daunting but definitely doable, as we learn in Emma Gilbey Keller’s new book, The Comeback: Seven Stories of Women Who Went from Career to Family and Back Again. Keller off-ramped her own career as a successful journalist to stay home with her kids and eventually become what she refers to as “Mrs. New York Times” (her husband is the paper’s executive editor).
Keller shares some tips that go well beyond the typical “update your resume” advice so you can carpe diem and chart your own comeback course.
Confidence: Adopt the same take-charge-stop-at-nothing mindset to your own life that you have when it comes to your children and their goals. Confidence is everything.
Out and About: Staying at home to raise kids can be isolating, so get out and circulate. Volunteer for a political campaign, go on school outings or join a book club. Being with people is incredibly good for your spirits and can spark ideas about your new career direction and networking.
Fast forward: A comeback is about looking to the future; it’s a chance to synthesize who you were before you had kids and who you’ve become since staying home to raise your brood.
Project Underway: Looking for individual projects rather than “a job” can be less intimidating. By focusing on one assignment, your comeback may seem more manageable. Think of it as a trial run in balancing work and family priorities. Plus, once you’ve gotten your feet wet again in the professional world, your confidence shoots up.
No Pain: Re-entry into the workforce often means a struggle. But, hey, you know it’s coming. Just be prepared. Doesn’t that make the accomplishment even sweeter?