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Going back to work after taking 5 years off to be a SAHM. How do I explain....

All the interviews I've had the employers look at me like I am an alien for staying at home the past few years. I fear it is going to hurt my chances of getting back into my career. Any suggestions or thoughts? I'm really feeling down on myself since I've actively started seeking employment. The phone just isn't ringing.

Answer Question

Asked by texasgurl33 at 1:23 PM on Feb. 28, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 34 (66,457 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Welcome to the club. The last time I took a few years off it didnt seem to matter as much as it does now. The problem right now is the economy is so bad and unemployment is so high they can be pickier about who they are hiring. They see us moms who have stayed home as risks. They dont know if we might decide next week to stay home again, or get pregnant, or what. All you can do is assure them during interviews that even though you took this time off you have no intentions of having more kids or staying home again.

    Answer by gemgem at 1:25 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Gemgem you are the first person to get what I am trying to say here! Wow, it's a relief just for someone to understand. Thanks

    Comment by texasgurl33 (original poster) at 1:29 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • she hit the nail on the head....i'm trying to get back to work part time after being home for 5 years but they think i'll just quit to stay home with my younger child (who is almost 2)

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 1:33 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Stay at home moms have lots of skills that employers value! Skills such as time management, logistics, finance, management, etc. Additionally, you probably have done some great volunteer work and may have had part time or even consulting positions while you were home.
    Start with a great resume; update (or create) a Linkedin profile; let everyone you know that you are looking for a new position. How are your skills? You may want to take a couple of classes at a community college, like Microsoft office (at least Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and a basic bookkeeping class.
    There are lots of great tips in the CafeMom Job Hunting Moms group:

    I do career and job search coaching (I never charge CafeMoms for my services); I will be happy to help you with your resumes, cover letters, job search strategy and interview skills.

    Answer by rkoloms at 2:28 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I was a sahm for over 6 years and knew I had to start looking, and was very worried about the same thing happening. Only difference is I wasn't in a "career" before, and wasn't looking to rejoin the same line of work. I lucked out though, found something totally different than what I did before - heard about the job, put my name in, got a phone call that turned into 5 phone calls and a job offer - within 5 hours of the initial phone call. Lucky, in this economy? Very. But I think it helped I was willing to go in a different direction than I expected, and the boss knew I'd been a sahm and took that as loyalty, and even with the minor issues we've had the first few weeks, the boss said he made the right decision - somehow being a sahm and being loyal to my family showed him that I'd be a loyal and good employee.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:36 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

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