Clawing my Way Back to Work

A fellow mom recently told me that she had to “claw her way back into the workforce” after spending several years staying home with her two children.

Wow.  That seemed a little harsh to me. I’m sure I won’t have to claw my way back to work….or at least I HOPE that won’t be the case.

Yet it seems that everywhere I look, I seem to find discouragement.  In a New York Times Op Ed – “Why Gender Equality Stalled” by Stephanie Coontz there are sobering statistics:

“One study cautioned that nearly 30 percent of opt-out moms who wanted to rejoin the labor force were unable to do so, and of those who did return, only 40 percent landed full-time professional jobs. In “The Price of Motherhood,” the journalist Ann Crittenden estimated that the typical college-educated woman lost more than $1 million dollars in lifetime earnings and forgone retirement benefits after she opted out.”

In my own experience thus far, I have been rejected in two cases because I was overqualified and too expensive for the salary range that was being considered.  I suggested part-time employment at that same salary, but that offer was not seriously considered.  Ugh…

Why aren’t workplaces more mom-friendly?  Why isn’t there more flexibility?  EVERYONE – moms, dads, children, adults with aging parents, or even people with pets would benefit from a results-oriented workplace that offered more flexibility.   Previously I wrote about the Results Only Work Environment in a post about looking for a lateral move instead of a vertical career move.

As it currently stands, it may be difficult making that lateral move or finding a part time role, leaving me to reach for that next rung on the corporate ladder.  I’m afraid this will mean more hours and much more stress – unless I find something that I LOVE to do and can find a way to balance it all on the go. I’m still optimistic that something is out there!

Can career dreams and kids coincide?

This question was recently posed and discussed in a post by Breadwinning Mama.  I think you CAN and SHOULD still have your dreams, but the pursuit of such dreams may need to slow down a bit when you have children.  As I continue to stay at home and be entertained by my two beautiful children during 12 – 14 hour days, I’ll still hold fast to my career goals while trying to claw my way back to work.


2 thoughts on “Clawing my Way Back to Work

  1. I’ve read a number of the books and posts you’ve mentioned. I think we are still in a very challenging job market, so re-entry is tough, especially if you’re commanding a decent salary. I’ve been told it’s good to keep your foot in the door, whether that be through freelance, consulting, part-time work, etc. I think your network is also key. If you know people who understand your strengths and what you bring, they’ll find a way to hire you and pay you accordingly. Hopefully you’re in a position where you can dive back into a role you really want since I’m sure it will be tough to leave the kiddos. Good luck on your search for that next right position.

    • Yes, you are right. There are some opportunities out there, but it is really competitive. I’ve been doing some freelance work and keeping in touch with some of my contacts. I just need to expand my search a bit and see what happens. I know it will be a change from staying at home, but I think we (kiddos included) are ready! Thanks for wishing me well!

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