How to Transition Back into the Marketplace

Here I am, 3 days after my 37th birthday, sitting in my home office that is slowly being transformed from the playroom it once was. It’s been 13 years since I last held a professional job, and I hear God softly telling me that there is something more coming in the near future. You see, my youngest is going to kindergarten in the fall. It’s the end of an era that lasted over a decade! There are so many seasons in the life of a woman. We get comfortable in one season, and then we turn around and it changes on us. But, how often do we resist this change? We want to cozy up with what we know and have mastered and maintain that comfort. This would be the easy route, maybe even the expected route. But, God rarely calls us to the easy or expected ways. So, now I find myself having this internal conversation, and I doubt that I am the only one who has ever had this conversation. It goes a little something like this.

“I am not qualified to do anything…no one will want to hire me…I’ve waited too long…It will be so hard to learn the new skills required for this job…I want this so bad, but it will never work out…Even though this is where I feel God is leading me, I can’t do this.”

But, what if we take all of that self doubt and persecution and answer it with the contrasting truths given to us by God in His Word. Let’s remember that God created us for good works.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

(The english major in me wants to make sure that you noticed that “works” is a plural word there!) He does not call us to a stagnant work that we finish during one season of our life, thus allowing us to coast along till we arrive in Heaven one day. With each new season comes a new work.

And, what if we also remembered that those good works He created us for were prepared by God Himself for us to walk in, and because He prepared them for us, He will also enable and sustain us to walk in them. (2 Timothy 3:17, Hebrews 13:20-21)

Are we willing to allow God to reinvent who we are? Are we willing to do what is unexpected and difficult if that is what God asks of us? Are we willing to enter into the tug of war that is fiercely loving our husbands, intentionally raising our children, being life giving friends, and passionately pursuing the good works God has prepared for us? Are we willing?

Here are 3 steps you can begin doing to prepare for your transition:

Refresh Your Resume

This can be a very intimidating task, as there will likely be some gaps of time where you don’t have anything professional to list. (We all know that this does not mean you weren’t working like crazy though!) This is also where you remind yourself of all those sweet times with your babies and have no regrets for the time you took off from work. It is possible that working on your resume will also give you a good picture of what your next steps should be, which leads me to my next point.

Build Relevance

Start building your resume back up by taking a volunteer position or internship in the industry that interests you. If you want to start contributing to the family’s finances, but you also want to enter into a specific industry, recognize that there might be some build up time before you reach a profitable place. This can be a humbling experience, so it’s important to keep your end goal in mind. Volunteering and interning provides a great way for you to build up your resume and get the experience you need.

Be Realistic

Be realistic with your time constraints, and, if possible, start slow with a part-time role. Recognize that this is going to be a big transition for you, your husband, and your children. Plunging into a full time job before you are all ready will create a very stressed out family. So, think realistically about all of the things you currently do and how you will be able to get them done (or delegate them out) while working. Take some time to create the job description that you have been fulfilling the last several years as a stay at home mom so that you can ensure it still gets filled when you enter back into the marketplace.

Will you be able to pick up your kids from school? How will you handle house cleaning, grocery shopping, general errands, volunteering at the kids’ school or your church, etc? Starting slow with a part time position will provide time to work out these details while also serving to build up your resume.

 


 

Are you transitioning back into the workforce? What challenges have you come up against? What have you done that worked well? What questions do you have that are left unanswered? Leave your advice and tips in the comments below!

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  • Jessie Scheunemann

    “But, God rarely calls us to the easy or expected ways.” This. So true! My youngest went off to Kindergarten this past fall as well. Such a crazy transition! I had personally thought this year would be one to ease into growing my existing graphic design studio; however, my husband had quit his job at the same time so I was tasked with finding paid projects quickly. God has provided, as He is known to do, in so many ways this school year. We are now nervously anticipating what summer will look like with our kids around and balancing self-employed mom & dad’s full-time list of clients. What we do know is God has an agenda and we are to follow it.

    Good luck to you in your professional endeavors!

    • Carrie Vipperman

      thank you! It is so encouraging to hear from other women who have been through the transition! It’s always amazing to see how God provides when we follow His agenda for us! good luck with the summer!

  • What a timely article! And this is not even the topic that brought me to Grit and Virtue. For the last 5 years, I have been self-employed as a book editor. Things were great until I had my youngest daughter 9 months ago and took a break, then things stalled. It has been stalling since then. Fortunately, I do not have a gap in my resume because I was running a business and kept current with industry skills and trends. But that has not made the process any easier. I have been submitting resumes for the last month and have not had so much as a phone call yet. But I have faith that it will all work out in the end. Good luck with your transition, Carrie, and thank you for sharing your insight.