By Nicholas Lore
Author of The Pathfinder
How can you find a career that’s engaging and fulfilling and allows you to be the best mom you can be? Whether you are a new mom, frustrated with your current job, or a mother who has decided to go back to work, this guide is chock full of creative solutions for creating a unique career that is perfectly suited to you and allows you to balance work and time with your kids.
Working moms who are both successful and satisfied at work spend their days using their top strengths and talents in a career they enjoy and care about, doing work that supports their dual roles. Here’s how you can design and find work you love:
1) Don’t make unnecessary compromises. Many mothers have painted a mental picture that focuses on all the difficulties inherent to combining work and parenting. Usually work-life balance is front and center. Most moms start off assuming that major compromises are inevitable. Instead, start with a blank canvas and fill it in with what you most want. Then get creative in finding ways to make what you want actually happen. If work-life balance is the issue, think of this as a problem to solve, not an impossibility.
2) Make it a project. If you don’t need a new job right away, forget about job hunting until your target is clear and specific. Design your career first. Then search for the job when you know exactly what you are seeking.
3) Become a career detective. Look for clues about how you and the workplace best fit together so you don’t wind up squeezed into the wrong job. Since employers pay you to perform specific functions, the first place to look is what you do happily, naturally, perhaps even brilliantly: your innate talents.
4) Research jobs that seem to fit. Read, search online, and talk with several people who do exactly the job you are considering. Keep whittling down until you can decide on specific job descriptions. Specificity has power. Casting a wide net is usually a mistake. Start your job search with definite targets. Find organizations with a humanistic philosophy. Even though they are definitely in the minority in these dog-eat-dog times, they do exist.
5) Stand out with effective personal marketing. One mom wrote an extraordinary resume that vividly portrayed her project management and other wide-ranging skills. It was so engaging that she was quickly hired even though she openly admitted that some of her experience came from raising twins. A great resume is much more than a history of your past. It is an advertisement; and you are the product. Like all great ads, its message should be “If you buy this product, you will get these specific benefits.” Check out the world’s most used resume-writing guide “How to Write a Masterpiece of a Resume” at www.rockportinstitute.com.
6) Focus on communicating your strengths. There is a split in hiring strategies today. Some organizations look for the person with the perfect resume. Others know that, in an ever-more-competitive world, they need to find the best people. Sometimes that person does not have the ideal resume. They have something more important: desire, skill, talent, the right personality and a commitment to perform with excellence.
7) Conduct a smart job search. Few people find the perfect job through online job listings. Decision-makers prefer to hire people they know. The most effective strategy is to find creative ways to get to meet and speak with several decision-makers: people who could actually hire you to do the job you want. Then, when a job becomes available, you have something better than the perfect resume, you are known.
8) Persist. An effective job search takes time. You may be rejected several times, perhaps many times before you land the job you want. Since we all tend to resist discomfort, it is natural to avoid any activity that leads to what the mind interprets as failure. As a result, people often give less time each week to their job search. Defuse this by realizing that you will hear “no” many times before you hear “yes.” Whether you are working and want more time flexibility, or you’re job hunting, ask for what you need. If you don’t get the response you want, don’t give up. People who usually get what they want have a simple secret: they keep making requests. Often the sequence goes like this: no, no, no, no , no, no, YES.