Choosing to stay at home with the kids is an absolutely wonderful way to bond with your little ones, save on the cost of child care, and get a first-hand look at all the beautiful little moments that define their early years. However, putting your career on hold during this time can be a difficult choice to make. After all, most stay-at-home parents plan to re-enter the workforce once their children are older, and that transition back can be a tumultuous one.
Going back to school ahead of returning to the workforce is an incredible way to mitigate the challenges a career gap can cause. Earning a degree gives you more power and leverage in interviews, which can make up for the lost time. All of this requires an elevated level of confidence, which is where having the right clothes comes into play. In addition to helping you feel more confident, the appropriate clothes can make you more comfortable when you return home and need to unwind.
Read on for some tips from Online Parenting Programs to guide you through going back to school as a stay-at-home parent.
Focus on Alternative Education Options
Stay-at-home parents aren’t a demographic famous for their abundant free time and casually flexible schedules. Indeed, when you care for kids at home your free time is basically relegated to after your kids go to sleep. As a result, as Psychology Today points out, traditional schooling options are often a poor fit for parents.
Fortunately, more and more schools are offering online-only programs. This means you can study at home during your little one’s naps, independent playtimes, or after they’ve gone to bed — whatever routine works best for you. Online schools are ubiquitous enough now that you can pursue virtually any program you might want, from IT and computer science to history or creative writing.
Build on Existing Experience
If you don’t want to make a total career change, pick a focus that builds on the knowledge you already have. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct extension of your previous work, but it should take advantage of your existing skill set. For example, if you’ve worked in customer service, you could look into a business management degree.
This approach sets you up for success on several fronts. First, an existing foundation makes the learning process substantially easier as you’ll be able to contextualize your studies in real-world and real-worked experience. Moreover, it makes a strong impression on hiring managers down the line to see how you’ve translated your background into continued growth.
You can continue to build this foundation by gaining experience picking up freelance work. By joining an online job platform and creating a profile you can find work as a writer, web developer, accountant, and virtual assistant, just to name a few possibilities. When applying for work, a resume template may help you highlight your skills more persuasively.
Or, Take a Leap
If you didn’t like what you used to do, CareerFoundry notes that going back to school can also be a great opportunity for a career change. Take some time to research your options and think critically about what type of degree will lead to the life you want to have. You can even reach out to people in fields you’re interested in and ask if they’ll indulge a phone call where you ask about what that job is like to see if it would be a good fit.
After going back to school and earning a degree, you can use your newfound knowledge to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. To start a business, you’ll need to create a business plan, research your target market, find funding, and choose a business structure.
Whether you’re making a big change or building on a career you’ve already established, going back to school can give you the boost you need. Stay-at-home parenting can make returning to work a challenge, but it also provides an opportunity to prove yourself — seize it!
Online Parenting Programs is dedicated to providing innovative online parent education classes for families in transition. Our programs foster parents’ learning with opportunities to build, enhance, and modify parenting styles in today’s diverse society. Call (866) 504-2883.