I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a stay-at-home mom for the past three years. Although two of those years were quite different from what most think of as as stay-at-home mom due to my, the last year has been fairly normal. It was as normal as it could be considering COVID-19 that changed so many things last year.

While I really enjoyed being with my babies and seeing them grow, I also missed working. I missed having something that was just my own and the personal fulfillment of having a career. Just before Thanksgiving last year, my husband and I decided it was time for me to start looking for a job again.

Even though that was exactly what I wanted, I experienced a lot of apprehension and worry surrounding my job search. What would my hours be like? How would my husband’s and my responsibilities and roles have to change to adapt to me working? How would my kids feel with this big life change? Would the benefits of this change outweigh the sacrifices I would be making to return to work? Oh, the mom guilt I had just thinking about all the change that would come with returning to work, yet still the desire was there.

As I started my search, I received several interviews and was energized by the idea that I would find something soon. As time went on, though, I felt a little discouraged that it took so long to find the right fit for me. I realize now that time was needed to prepare my mind and heart for this change, and that waiting for the right opportunity was the best thing I could do.

I know not everyone will have the luxury to be extremely picky in their job search, but I have put together a list of tips that I hope will help you if you are planning to re-enter the workforce soon.

5 Tips for Your Job Search

Evaluate your needs.

Before you start applying, be sure to evaluate what you need. Do you need full-time or part-time? Do you need flexibility and/or benefits? How will your budget be impacted by this change? Discuss these things with your spouse so you can be sure you both are on the same page before you begin your search. Doing this will help you dial-in on what you really need.

Be selective.

Once you know what you need, stick to only looking for opportunities that will meet these needs. Again, I know that not everyone has the luxury to do this, but if you are able to, try to focus on opportunities that most align with what you truly need.

Also consider working with a recruiter. Recruiters can make your job hunt so much easier by helping you narrow your focus to opportunities that meet both your and your potential employer’s needs.

Communicate your needs and expectations.

When you start interviewing, be clear on what your needs and expectations are and articulate that to the company. If you need flexibility, be sure to ask questions to find out how flexible the company is.

Negotiate.

If the company extends an offer that is outside of your needs, do not be afraid to attempt to negotiate. For example, if you are on your spouse’s employee benefits, there might be wiggle room to negotiate pay if your potential employer would generally pay for benefits for the position you have applied for.

Seek advice and pray.

Be sure to ask other moms for advice as you prepare for your job search. If you are feeling uneasy, it is always best to talk with someone else to gain insight from them. Learning about other people’s experiences might help you as well.

Praying is another great way to seek clarity and the comfort you might need while on your search. I always feel better and more confident about decisions when I take the time to pray about them first.

I have been working now for a few weeks and I have loved transitioning back into the workforce. Our family schedule and routines have changed a bit, but I am thankful and appreciative of the opportunity I have been given to go back to work.

If you need additional tips for your job search, or want to chat about potentially going back to work, I would love to talk to you if you need support and guidance!

This content was originally published here.

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