10 Tips For Finding a Great Career After Pausing to Raise Children

Now that I'm a mom I truly understand how hard it is to juggle childrearing and a career. I also understand the emotional, practical, and financial allure of taking a break from the workplace to focus on the hardest and most underrated job of all: raising children.

While my workaholic tendencies, passion for my job, and steep mortgage deter me from going on a permanent play date from the workaday world, I know plenty of woman who have done just that–and also found it hard to find their professional footing once the kids are in school and they're ready to launch their own lives again.

Enter YourOnRamp. This supercool site, which I've featured before, is a one-stop shop for “onramping,” or getting out of the playground and into the boardroom or wherever you'd like to be.

YourOnRamp cofounder, mother of four, and self-professed OnRamper Catherine Clifford has generously agreed to offer 10 tips on how to get back into the game–with a career that may allow you to clock out in time for the afternoon's Little League game.

Welcome, Catherine…..

–Erika Lenkert

Guest Blogger Catherine Clifford on How to Get a Family-Friendly Career
When Erika asked me to do a guest blog for Glam.com it didn't take long for me to figure out what to write about: my favorite topic, OnRamping. The challenge was communicating how Glam-orous, fun and hip OnRamping can be. Here goes…

The kids are headed back to school. Is this the year you're ready to OnRamp? I know you love sitting in car line, making lunches and endless hours volunteering at your child's school, but maybe you're ready to take a journey that's yours alone. No one said you have to go back to your 80 hour/week investment banking career. Maybe you're ready to write a book, pursue that career you always wanted, or make a difference at a nonprofit, The choice is yours. Explore the range of possibilities–this should be fun, not scary! It is worth the effort! BUT, You'll need a plan…

YourOnRamprecommends:

1.Clear the decks! Deliberately set aside time and space where you can focus without the multitude of interruptions that often cloud your days. (Mom, I forgot my homework…!). Spend focused time every day on YourOnRamp “project.” That means dodging the e-mail black hole, saying no to volunteer requests that do not contribute to your effort, and outsourcing non-essential chores.

2.Gather the right tools. If you don't have the cool new iPhone, Blackberry or the equivalent, now is the time to invest in one. You want to be organized, efficient and up to date on the technology that is now ubiquitous in the workplace.

3. Devote time to complete a Self Assessment. This is often the deal stopper. Don't let it trip you up! This is a valuable opportunity to recognize what you enjoy doing and when you feel the most successful and fulfilled. We have great tools to help you understand yourself, how you define a balanced life and where you will best contribute.

4. Develop an ElevatorPitch. This is your 1 to 2 minute description of yourself and your job objective (if you have one). It is an essential tool for networking.

5. Build a Network. This is the most important aspect of your onramp effort. Your chances of getting a job are much better when you know someone at the company. We make networking easy.

6. Get Educated. Research ideas, industries, companies, people, you name it, there is unlimited information available with a few key strokes. YourOnRamp, is a great place to gather information. Learn about Back to School programs at top business schools. Visit our newsroom and library. Our blog and discuss topics are all designed to help you get up to speed.

7. Compile your Resume. Need help presenting your work and volunteer experiences in a meaningful and effective way? We can help turn this chore into art. You should also compile a list of references.

8. Craft Cover Letters. Yes, you need them! They go hand in hand with your resume and are an essential communication tool, persuasively matching your prior experience to your future career goals.

9. Prepare for Interviews. Preparation is the key to successful interviewing. What questions will I need to answer? How should I explain my time away from the workplace? What if my skills are outdated? Look the part. Ditch the 1980s Brooks Brothers suit and update your wardrobe (what a great excuse for that new fab outfit!)

10. Ask for the Order. E-mail a prompt thank you highlighting your interest and qualifications for the job. If you want the job, ask for it and tell them why you're the one for the job. Don't be shy.

Follow our plan and in no time you'll be on your way to a new flexible career that works for your life.

For more ideas on how to onramp, offramp or just manage your day-to-day at home or at work please come visit us at YourOnRamp.

[tags]motherhood, career, jobs, flexible jobs, youronramp, how to, tips for getting a job, family-friendly jobs[/tags]