The Ape – Jungle Moms

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 28, 2009 in Building Confidence, Career Path |

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The human’s closest relative in the animal kingdom is the Chimpanzee. Like humans, during the first months of life chimp infants are completely dependent on their mothers for food and care and stick close to their mothers until they are mature. It’s a tough job to raise a family and a tough decision when mothers need or want to go back to work.  Whether it’s because your family needs the income or because you’re ready to take on corporate challenges again, you feel torn between the responsibility you have to your family and the obligations you accept with your new employer. Here are a few things to consider as you re-enter the work force:

·         Be confident in explaining that you took time off to start a family. When you organize your resume, make sure the work experience that you intend to carry forward figures most prominently on the first page. It’s ok to have a gap in employment and you should feel free to explain that you took time off to start a family.  There’s no need to pull out the family photo album in the interview, though. 

·         Be flexible and willing to negotiate. Many people leave behind high powered careers and want to return exactly where they left off, or even at a higher level.  In many cases employers may not be willing to pay for someone lacking the most recent, up to date experience.  You can prove yourself over time and get back to where you want to be, but be open to the fact that no matter how smart and hard working you are, there will be a learning curve.  Consider ten years ago many people didn’t have Internet access at their desks; ITunes and text messaging weren’t even in the dictionary as a quick reminder of how technology alone has changed in a short period of time.  

·         When you do land your job, get up to speed as quickly as you can. Read appropriate trade publications and obtain necessary computer training.  Be pleasant and personable, but professional.  Don’t make your water cooler talk about your family until you know more about everyone you work with and avoid overcrowding your workspace with excessive amounts of photos . A few nicely framed ones will keep you focused on why you’re there and keep you from getting too homesick.

·         Have a back-up plan and alternative help for the unexpected things that might pop up.  Most employers will have a 90 day to 6 month probationary period where you may not be eligible for personal leave or sick time.  Obviously emergencies occur, but your new employer will not look favorably on you taking unplanned days off before you have accrued leave.

·         Keep one calendar for work and personal so things don’t slip through the cracks.  Do your best to schedule doctor’s appointments and necessary personal meetings on one day a month that you have set aside and requested off well in advance, for example, the last Wednesday of the month.  That way, you always know if you need to schedule a service appointment you can use that day.

·         Consider starting a home-based business. If the thought of going back to an office and giving up the joy of raising children is just too much for you, consider starting a licensed day care service.  There is a large need for qualified, caring, daycare providers in many areas.  It’s possible that you could earn as much as or more than you would by getting an office job.  It’s your own business, too.  Licensing, insurance, supplies and advertising cost money, but the bookkeeping alone is great experience you can carry forward into an office later as well.  

So, Monkey Mamas! Get out there! Good Luck!

If you have specific questions or need assistance in polishing your resume, finding a job or preparing for interviews, we have on demand webinars, publications and other resources on my website


Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on!

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Oct 1, 2009 at 2:14 pm to GoogleReader!

Nov 26, 2011 at 7:18 am

Grazi for mkaing it nice and EZ.


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