Over the past few days I've had cause to go through my file drawers and start sorting things out. During my most recent "dig-fest", I spotted some magazines I'd meant to discuss with you gals. Better late than never, right?
One article that caught my eye was "Get Hired", in the Feb/Mar 2008 issue of Working Mother magazine. This well-written piece gives the reader some great ideas for heading back to work, making a career change, or snagging that promotion.
Michelle Roberts hits the nail on the head with several points, including the reminder that moms returning to the workforce have assets that, while hard to define at first glance, translate superbly in a work setting. Being able to multitask, show compassion, an ability to manage (both people and your time), being dependable, and having a strong work ethic are important to employers, no matter where you got the training. In my personal experience, as a manager I'd much rather have someone who is dependable and trustworthy who needs to be trained for the specific tasks a job requires, than to have someone who's done the job for years but can't be counted on to keep certain business matters confidential or show up on time.
Head on over to the archived article at Working Mother and let me know what point you think is most useful for a woman (mother or not) returning to work after some time off, or looking to change fields. My vote is for "amp up your ego". Even after reading a multitude of articles and books explaining how women will undercut themselves in the workplace and socially, by deferring to others or being overly demure about their own talents and opinions, I realized I was still doing it myself while corresponding with others in a certain circle. The worst part is, these people don't even know me - so why on earth would I lower their expectations of me by prefacing my thoughts with "I'm sure there are others here with more wisdom on the matter" or "This is my opinion but I'm sure someone else can tell you more."
DUH. Old habits die hard, eh?