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Thread: Re-Entering the workforce (SAHM)

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    Mastermind bargain_hunter_lola's Avatar
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    My kids are finally at the age where they are in school full-time so I've been looking for work.

    I started passively looking for work this past January, applying to jobs here and there. For the past two months I've been much more aggressive; checking job boards/sites daily, networking, applying for anything and everything I am qualified to do. I haven't gotten a call for ONE interview. Absolutely NOTHING.

    I realize the job market is very competitive but I'm really beginning to get frustrated and depressed.

    I have two diplomas and a degree and I can't seem to even get an interview for a cashier (I've worked in retail sales, customer service, cash, cash office, front line co-ordinator, assistant manager, receptionist, etc).

    I took almost seven years off to raise my children and now I'm DESPERATE to get back to work. Not only financial reasons (DH took a 60% pay cut last December and we've been really feeling the strain of it) but also for my own self esteem, knowledge, socialization, etc.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Any suggestions?

    I've been trying to contact community agencies to see what resources are out there but I don't even know where to begin. The couple I did call I wasn't able to get in touch with a person. I have no idea if I even qualify for any help as I wasn't laid off or on maternity leave at any time (while I was pregnant I was a temp employee so I didn't qualify).

    Just thought I'd ask here since I know there's been a lot of us SAHMs on this site trying to save money.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Last edited by bargain_hunter_lola; Thu, Aug 13th, 2015 at 04:30 PM.
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    Sorry to hear that you are having trouble finding work. Not sure where you live but I know the economy is not the best in Canada right now and likely the job market is tight. I don't know if you could talk to the government office that runs the federal job bank to see if you qualify for any type of supports or training-perhaps go in person if possible. Could you start by working for a temp agency? Are you interested or suited to working as a companion or assistant to the elderly or disabled children/adults as I know at least in our city there is always a demand for this. Could you start off volunteering a couple hrs a week anywhere to get your foot in the door so to speak. Or do you have any contacts-friends or family that could help you get the word out that you are looking and let you know about any opportunities they hear about? Wish I could be of more help and hopefully people with recent job hunting experience will respond to your question. Good luck!

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    Smart Canuck Venuila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bargain_hunter_lola View Post
    My kids are finally at the age where they are in school full-time so I've been looking for work.

    I started passively looking for work this past January, applying to jobs here and there. For the past two months I've been much more aggressive; checking job boards/sites daily, networking, applying for anything and everything I am qualified to do. I haven't gotten a call for ONE interview. Absolutely NOTHING.

    I realize the job market is very competitive but I'm really beginning to get frustrated and depressed.

    I have two diplomas and a degree and I can't seem to even get an interview for a cashier (I've worked in retail sales, customer service, cash, cash office, front line co-ordinator, assistant manager, receptionist, etc).

    I took almost seven years off to raise my children and now I'm DESPERATE to get back to work. Not only financial reasons (DH took a 60% pay cut last December and we've been really feeling the strain of it) but also for my own self esteem, knowledge, socialization, etc.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Any suggestions?

    I've been trying to contact community agencies to see what resources are out there but I don't even know where to begin. The couple I did call I wasn't able to get in touch with a person. I have no idea if I even qualify for any help as I wasn't laid off or on maternity leave at any time (while I was pregnant I was a temp employee so I didn't qualify).

    Just thought I'd ask here since I know there's been a lot of us SAHMs on this site trying to save money.

    Thanks in advance.

    I can't really offer any advice cause I am in the same boat. I feel your pain and frustration. My kids are 3 and 8 months but I am more than ready to get back to work. A really good day care I have been on the wait list at for more than 6 months has two openings starting September 1 so yeah...I NEED something before then. And something more than half decent with day hours that would actually cover the INSANE cost of daycare.

    BUT! We got this!!! All I can say is keep applying everywhere, don't give up!!! Every night I look up jobs and send in applications. Maybe start checking local businesses' websites if they have job postings up there...banks, etc.
    I think what turns people off is the gap on the resume from our last place of employment. The guy who interviewed me today was like why haven't you been working for the last four years?! So, I've taken to mentioning in my cover letter that I am stay at home Mom eager to get back into the workforce. Not sure if that is helping or not but might be worth mentioning if you aren't already.

    I haven't gone to any placement agencies yet, but if I don't hear anything tomorrow I plan on going there. There are a lot of good opportunities with some of them.

    No idea about the help from agencies and what not...I was talking to someone today that had asked me if I would qualify for subsidy while getting training or something...not sure about any of that, haven't really looked into it much.

    Stay positive Lola! I know how eager you are but it will all happen when it's supposed to.

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    I have worked through placement agencies before and I enjoyed it but I did found it very hit and miss. Some placements lasted 3-4 months then nothing for a month, then maybe a week of work and again another stretch off, etc. I've been trying to figure out how I could make that work but haven't really figured out how. All the placements I worked at were 8-4 or 9-5, which would mean I would have to pay for before & after school care at $20 per day, per child. It involves a commitment. I can't just enrol my kids for a month then pull them out for a week, then put them back in, etc. IYKWIM? So unless I have constant (or somewhat reliable) employment I really can't justify another $200 per week expense.

    I cannot volunteer right now as I have my kids until school starts. If by that time I am still looking then I will volunteer during school hours but I'm desperately hoping it doesn't come to that. Frankly I need the $$$

    I have already been networking but nothing has come up. I'm hopeful it's just the time of year and people will start hiring in the next few weeks to replace students who are returning back to school.

    I've also added that I've stepped away from the workforce to raise my children in my cover letter, like you @Venuila I'm not sure if it's good or bad but I thought it will at least explain my gap.

    I've been working on updating my skills at home (self teaching via text books, youtube, online tests, etc) in hopes that I can excel on any tests given during the hiring process (some of my previous jobs required computer skills tests: certain number of wpm typed, excel knowledge, etc).

    I'm hoping to go in to an employment agency tomorrow to get some information. I can't find much info online so I'm not even sure if they'll be able to help but if not, hopefully they can point me in the right direction.

    I've added 9 sites into my online bookmarks and I check them all at least twice daily (some job banks, some major employers in the city).

    Just finding the whole situation so frustrating. I've re-written my cover letter and resume (to cater to the specific job) probably about 100 times in the past month and nothing. I'm not even getting interviews for jobs that I did while going to school (high school, college and University), jobs that I can do very easily.

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    Smart Canuck lilo0003's Avatar
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    As a mom and a hiring manager I would be fine with knowing why you had a gap, but it is not critical on a resume, especially since you have no obligation to advise an employer you have kids. The challenge is you have to getby the recruiter to get to my supervisors for the interview. That's were a strong resume and enthusiasm are going to win. Full time day shifts are a hot commodity and if you have time of day andday of week restrictions that can make it tough in some industry's. Good luck, and don't give up hope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilo0003 View Post
    As a mom and a hiring manager I would be fine with knowing why you had a gap, but it is not critical on a resume, especially since you have no obligation to advise an employer you have kids. The challenge is you have to getby the recruiter to get to my supervisors for the interview. That's were a strong resume and enthusiasm are going to win. Full time day shifts are a hot commodity and if you have time of day andday of week restrictions that can make it tough in some industry's. Good luck, and don't give up hope.
    Thanks for the info!

    If it's a permanent full-time job then I wouldn't have any restrictions as I'd just put my kids in before and/or after school care. DH is off at 4pm so he would pick them up.

    If it's a part-time job then I'd try to work while they are in school and/or nights/week-ends.

    I'm pretty flexible. I just don't want the job costing more than I make if at all possible.

    I am curious of what you mean by "strong resume"? Just wondering if there's anything I should add or take out? Or a lay-out that's more attractive? I have the basic chronological lay-out right now but I've been researching and there seems to be more trendy styles. Not sure if it really matters?

    An example:


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    Contradiction in progress sweet sparrow's Avatar
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    It seems like most places hiring online don't have the capacity to handle the resume on the right. Most of them just ask for word documents. How would you get the resume on the right into their hands?

    My sister returned to work after an eight year gap. She was a programmer so all her skills were quickly outdated during that time. She found it very difficult. Eventually, she was interviewed by a mom who could totally relate to her experience and hired her based on her personality and work ethic. They both knew there would have to be a lot of training. Unfortunately, that department was cut in the next round of layoffs, but she used the reference to get her next job.

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    If you are not able to be flexible due to your children's school hrs, cost of daycare etc( which I understand) this could limit your opportunities. Have you considered doing Before and after school care yourself instead of working outside the home-this would guarantee your costs of working are not above your cost of childcare and give you some tax writeoffs too. Would also give you recent work experience and references. Also some jobs allow work from home( for eg I have known people who worked from home here booking airline reservations or limo reservations). In the end only you can decide what is best but keep an open mind-the reality is that in order to get your foot in the door you may have to take the yucky shifts first or even be out of pocket for childcare a bit for the first few months until you work your way up-I know that is hard to afford but short term pain possibly for long term gain if you can possibly swing it-for eg use your new UCCB just for before school care if necessary as you said your DH could pick up. Do you live somewhere that you could consider or be comfortable driving for Uber where you choose your own hrs? I used to be a manager in healthcare and honestly the employee needed to fit into the shift hrs rather than me work the shift hrs around a new employee-that was just the reality. Once an employee had been there some time and perhaps requested a later or different shift sometimes I could accomodate them but again if all want the same thing you cannot accomodate everyone and not really fair to just do one unless say it is a health issue for eg.
    Last edited by lizzie bargain; Fri, Aug 14th, 2015 at 09:33 AM.

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    As I said before I'm flexible with hours. I've put open availability on my cover-letter, so I know it's not my availability.

    The only times I would IDEALLY not want to work are before 8:45am and from 3:30 to 4:15pm, BUT as I said before if I can find a PERMANENT job than I'd happily work those times as I know I'd have income coming in (I've applied for all sorts of hours, 7-3, 8-4, 9-5, 10-6, nights, week-ends, etc).

    I don't expect anyone to work shifts around me. I've been management before in charge of scheduling, I know what it's like. I don't even mind being out a little bit of money to gain experience but it's just not practical to pay $800 a month while still not working, which is why I haven't went to a temp agency yet -as I said before there were periods of months where there just weren't any jobs.

    Honestly I'd rather volunteer for free for experience than sign a contract to put my kids in before & after school care daily and then have no income and no experience (which is a very high possibility with temping).

    Taxi/uber driving is not a option. My DH would never allow it. It's not the safest job for a young female...

    I've babysat throughout the past 7 years but I'm not interested in running a home daycare for a variety of reasons: I have no education or experience, there's 4-5 within our school neighbourhood already, it wouldn't help boost my resume in an office setting where my interest is, and frankly I've been home for 7 years with my kids -- I want to go back to work where I can socialize and LEARN.

    I'm certainly not trying to shoot all your ideas down though!

    Just looking for any tips or tricks stay at home moms have found that help in the job finding process (things to put on resume, resources I can talk to, skills employers want to see updated, things like that).

    I've been thinking about going back to school but DH isn't keen on the idea. We just finished paying off our student loans and my 2 diplomas and degree haven't helped me yet. lol
    Last edited by bargain_hunter_lola; Fri, Aug 14th, 2015 at 10:35 AM.


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    I think something else you have to factor in is the job market, I know so many people looking for jobs right now and nothing. No call backs, no interviews nothing, these are not SAHM looking to reenter the work force some have lost jobs due downsizing or companies closing, some are currently working but are looking to change their current positions. There is not a lot of work out there.

    But I will say as someone in the work force full time it can also depend on where you are located and the type of work. We have 2 locations both trying to fill the same position, one had the job listed for 7 weeks before they got a candidate hired him and 2 days before his start date decided not to leave his current company, they are currently looking again has been another 4 weeks with nothing. Our other location posted the job and within 2 to 3 weeks had a new person in place.

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    .
    Last edited by lecale; Thu, Oct 29th, 2015 at 12:37 PM.

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    I have a interview set up for a Merchandiser position! It doesn't pay much but it will give me something to put on my resume and it's really flexible so I can do it almost whenever I want (it's filling up stock is a few different stores). I'm hoping I can get that and maybe another job to make up full-time hours.

    I think I've also decided to switch over my resume from a chronological style to a skills based style. That way the gap in my employment wont be as obvious. I've seen some skills based resume still include employment dates, any thoughts/opinions?

    I can't decide whether it would help (at least get me an interview) or hurt (like I'm hiding things)... Any one have experience or thoughts?

    TIA

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    Hello there,

    Sorry to hear about your frustration and depression over this matter. However, I am going to play devil's advocate here and just give it to you as I see it vice being one of those delusional friends that will tell you what you want to hear. I hope you don't get offended....

    7yrs is a LONG time to be out of the work force, and nobody will do that if then didn't have a partner to help make this possible. It will seem today that many Moms are making this mistake of not going back to work, and instead will rather deny the kids the chance to associate with other kids in daycare as part of any reasonable child development.

    I am a professional single father of 1 with shared custody 50-50, and I can tell you that agenda / calendar with regards to school dates i.e. summer, xmas, extracurricular activities etc has been planned out for over a year. I am also paying child support based on 50-50, as well as for activities and camp. My ex worked all the time we were together, and I don't think stay at home would have gone down well with me...I mean why should I be the one doing all the heavy lifting?

    It's because of this that I will always maintain the stance that staying at home is NOT a full-time job....many like to think it is, but I call BS on it personally.

    What is your degree in? A STRONG resume is one that is full of workplace experience backed by a timeline, and not just the academic results. One of my degrees is in computer engineering with years of experience to back it up. If someone showed up with a resume with no experience.....that is hardly a strong resume compared to someone else. It's just the way it is, employers are NOT our friends or family that tell us what we want to hear. Millenials struggle with this, as they are so used to being mislead by their parents and friends.

    You shouldn't feel like you have to do the parenting alone, both parents need to be involved in the kids life, and the chores should be shared. I know there are a lot of useless dads out there, that don't even know their kids teachers name or doctors office etc, but there are just as many useless moms too that spend time on social media or going on watching daytime TV shows. For example, it has been my week and yesterday my son had a friend over and I spend half the day taking them places and catering for them. I do this because it's my responsibility as parent, and my kid gets to socialize



    Quote Originally Posted by bargain_hunter_lola View Post
    Thanks for the info!

    If it's a permanent full-time job then I wouldn't have any restrictions as I'd just put my kids in before and/or after school care. DH is off at 4pm so he would pick them up.

    If it's a part-time job then I'd try to work while they are in school and/or nights/week-ends.

    I'm pretty flexible. I just don't want the job costing more than I make if at all possible.

    I am curious of what you mean by "strong resume"? Just wondering if there's anything I should add or take out? Or a lay-out that's more attractive? I have the basic chronological lay-out right now but I've been researching and there seems to be more trendy styles. Not sure if it really matters?

    An example:

    Last edited by beachdown; Sun, Aug 16th, 2015 at 12:32 PM.

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    Without giving my entire life story I feel I should address a few points:

    Quote Originally Posted by beachdown View Post
    I hope you don't get offended....

    7yrs is a LONG time to be out of the work force, and nobody will do that if then didn't have a partner to help make this possible. It will seem today that many Moms are making this mistake of not going back to work, and instead will rather deny the kids the chance to associate with other kids in daycare as part of any reasonable child development.
    I do agree 7 years is a LONG time and yes if it wasn't for my husband I wouldn't have been able to do it, BUT it was a decision we made as a COUPLE, JOINTLY.

    He felt strongly that I should stay home and at the time I couldn't find a job that paid enough to warrant daycare costs, so it was the best decision for our family.

    Quote Originally Posted by beachdown View Post
    It will seem today that many Moms are making this mistake of not going back to work, and instead will rather deny the kids the chance to associate with other kids in daycare as part of any reasonable child development.
    Whether it's a mistake or not is a personal opinion.

    My children have never been denied "the chance to associate with other kids in daycare as part of any reasonable child development". In fact they BOTH attended a centre-based preschool two days per week.

    I'm sure you're wondering why, It's exactly as you said socialization and development.

    I'm also sure you're wondering why I didn't go to work then. The answer is simple: I TRIED! But no one wants to hire someone for 2 days a week. I won't get into the specifics but at the time my husband was travelling for work and away for up to 3 weeks at a time so those 2 days were spent doing everything that's difficult to do with small children.

    Quote Originally Posted by beachdown View Post
    My ex worked all the time we were together, and I don't think stay at home would have gone down well with me...I mean why should I be the one doing all the heavy lifting?
    I'm glad you had a system that worked for your family, but every family is different.

    I certainly don't think my husband does all the "heavy lifting". There were times BEFORE kids that I helped support him and his education/career and when we jointly choose that I would stay home he has supported me. Now it's time for me to work again and we will support our family together.


    Quote Originally Posted by beachdown View Post
    What is your degree in? A STRONG resume is one that is full of workplace experience backed by a timeline, and not just the academic results. One of my degrees is in computer engineering with years of experience to back it up. If someone showed up with a resume with no experience.....that is hardly a strong resume compared to someone else. It's just the way it is, employers are NOT our friends or family that tell us what we want to hear. Millenials struggle with this, as they are so used to being mislead by their parents and friends.
    I agree it's hard from some one with little experience to compete with others that have much more experience, which is why I know I'll have to start small and work my way up. I did it before and I can do it again.

    This thread isn't about trying to get a fantastic job. It's simply asking other (past and present) stay at home moms about their experience re-entering the workforce. Some may have valuable tips that I haven't thought of. Never hurts to ask and research.

    Quote Originally Posted by beachdown View Post
    You shouldn't feel like you have to do the parenting alone, both parents need to be involved in the kids life, and the chores should be shared. I know there are a lot of useless dads out there, that don't even know their kids teachers name or doctors office etc, but there are just as many useless moms too that spend time on social media or going on watching daytime TV shows. For example, it has been my week and yesterday my son had a friend over and I spend half the day taking them places and catering for them. I do this because it's my responsibility as parent, and my kid gets to socialize
    I think you hit the nail of the head here: There's all types of parents. Good ones and bad ones.

    I spend a decent amount of time of SC, but I don't go on any other sites and it doesn't interfere with my parenting so I'm not concerned.

    I host play dates, volunteer in both my kids classes, take my kids to extracurricular activities, do daily homework and teaching lessons with them (I organize and teach different topics), etc. I have been able to do all this because I've been a stay at home mother.

    I wouldn't trade all of the bonding time I've had with my children for job experience. I'm happy with my choices. My children are now older and attending school full day every day and don't need as much of my time so I'm looking to get back to work and start building a career.
    Last edited by bargain_hunter_lola; Sun, Aug 16th, 2015 at 01:45 PM.


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    I'd love if this thread count stay on point...

    Chronological vs. Skills based resumes

    Any thoughts?


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