Hey mama! Ever thought you’ve got this whole spending optimization thing down but you’re ready to bring in your own income? Maybe you’re already a rockstar at turning a blind eye to advertising, avoiding consumerism just because everyone else around you has the latest and greatest, and asking yourself if your spending is truly aligned with your joys and values. Maybe you’re ready to start bringing in some dough again but you’re faced with a myriad of concerns. Like, how do I make money again if I’ve been out of the workforce for so long? Are my skills totally obsolete? What about childcare? Where do I even begin at this money making thing?
If you’re anything like us, making money can be a mixed bag of emotions for mamas. We wonder if we’re making the right decision to dedicate time to a profession as opposed to spending time with our kids. We wonder if our skills are too rusty to even find a job. We wonder if the income will even cover the cost of childcare. While it may be easy for someone without a family to work a full-time job and simultaneously pick up a side-hustle, that lifestyle can often be difficult for a mom who is trying to balance quality time with her family and a career.
But at the same time, it is essential to honor the voice within us that is crying for a professional outlet. If we continue to squash it down or ignore it, how can we feel truly fulfilled – even if that means we have to do a juggling act for a while that would make anyone insane.
“I always assumed I would be a stay at home mom. I left my corporate career when my first child was born and didn’t look back. I loved my baby and was a 10 on the maternal radar scale. But after my third child was born, the need to have a professional outlet overwhelmed me. It snuck up slowly and then began to eat at my soul. Well-meaning individuals told me to wait until my youngest was in kindergarten, but five years of ignoring this burning desire to build and create and think outside of motherhood felt like an eternity. That’s when I put my foot down and began to honor myself and my needs. For me, the answer has been entrepreneurship. While there is financial risk, it allows flexibility and I can mostly work from home. I still face the childcare conundrum though, especially when my childcare falls through. But I continue to push through the setbacks. Because even though it is a headache, working and mothering are what help me thrive as a human being.”
“I always wanted to work part-time while being a mother. I knew that I didn’t want to be a super, high powered working mother because to me that didn’t align with my values. However, I was the person who had a full-time career in the Human Resources field, two other part-time jobs and volunteered before having a baby and I just couldn’t turn it off. The answer to this has shifted over the years and I have had many different part-time and freelance jobs to fill the void. Lately, I’ve been moving towards entrepreneurship after helping other small business owners grow their brands through my virtual assistant work. I love that entrepreneurship offers something new to learn and I’m proud that I’ll be able to help more moms on their journey and hopefully create their version of a value-based career as well.”
If you’re feeling the desire to work again, take some time to go through the following questions. These will help you understand why you’re professional timer may be going off.
-Why do you want to go back to work? Is it passion? A change of scene? Money?
-How would it feel to work again?
-What are your values? Does the job align with your personal values? Does the job align with your family values? (use our handy job brainstorming worksheet as you jot down ideas)
-Are you seeking adult contact?
-What is your WHY for getting a job? (The most important question for your search!)
Now that you are a mom, it’s important to take time and evaluate what you want. The things you prioritized professionally pre-kids (like big promotions and corner offices) may be different from what you care about now (like flexibility to watch your child’s games or dance recitals). Be okay with this. It’s why you are doing the mind and heart work now!
If you’re still having trouble beginning, Yvonne recommends the book StrengthsFinder 2.0. This is an amazing resource to help you uncover your talents and find career options that fit your strengths. After taking an online assessment (with access code provided in the book) you will be given your top 5 strengths. Then you can turn to the book for more details on those strengths. You can use our handy job brainstorming worksheet to list your results.
Once you have your values and strengths sorted out, it’s time to switch gears and think about childcare logistics. We all know that logistics can be a nightmare for moms. Imagine having everything lined up — you have the perfect outfit for the day, the report for work is finished, and then your sitter cancels. Seriously this is just one of the many things that could happen for working mothers. But this should never stop us from reaching our goals. Let’s assuage this fear by looking at the logistics needed to make our professional ambitions work. The best way to calm a fear is to plan for it.
Let’s take a look at a few of the common concerns. Do you need to pick up your kids after school? Or drop them off? Do they have extracurricular activities that they need to get to? Who will help the kids with their homework? Who will cook dinner? What happens if your kids are sick or need to be picked up early from school?
Some mamas will have a ton of help and others won’t, but there are so many creative ways to solve the childcare puzzle. While you could always pay for a sitter, maybe there’s another way. Do you have a grandparent who lives nearby who could watch your child once a week or an adult sibling that can help? Maybe you have a spouse or partner who works from home or could telecommute once a week? Do you have a local mom that watches her own kids after school and can watch your kids too to make a little extra money? Other mamas will have to get more creative… maybe you have to work on weekends, on-call or be part of the gig economy. Maybe you have to find a work-at-home job just to name a few.
Now that you’ve gone through some important questions, it’s time to consider money making jobs that will fit your lifestyle. Be sure to refer to the sheet we provided as you brainstorm. No need to worry about perfection here. Just treat this as your brain dump session, let your mind wander and see where it leads.
If you are ready to start making money again and need help on this path, you’re in luck! We are busy creating our first course to help moms re-enter the workforce. You’ll get 1:1 support, job leads and training tools so that you can find the career you want, need, and wish for! We want this experience to be super interactive with the chance to improve your life on your own terms. We will explore behavior, mindset, interviewing tips, research strategies, and more. Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to know when we launch our inaugural group! Plus, receive a free Mompowered Morning day planner.
Wishing you much success in your professional ambitions!
Related Post: Money Chats: Money Mindset For Moms