When I decided to go back to work after a 17 year absence from the full time work force, I was positive I had nothing to offer. I didn’t have a degree and the last time I worked on a computer at a job I was using a DOS based wordprocessing program. While I had written many documents and created several spreadsheets using microsoft products at home, I wasn’t exactly sure how to put that on my resume. And I didn’t know how they were actually used in the workforce so I wasn’t sure I should admit to more than a passing knowledge of these programs anyway.
As I began to consider what job I might pursue I set my sights pretty low. Within a couple months of starting a job answering phones, I was all caught up on my work place skills and I was bored. If only I had seen this article before I started looking for a job, maybe I would have set my sights a little higher. Apparently I am not the first stay-at-home mom to undervalue herself as she returned to the workforce.
From the article:
As a result: these women are overqualified for their roles and underutilized by their companies. This cycle repeats itself constantly. It is a downfall for the women and a downfall for these companies. They actually want you in the right role. Because if you are in the wrong role, you are unhappy. Your productivity and performance falters. You may ask for flextime or leave altogether.
That was me. I was overqualified and underutilized. I believe I consistantly worked to be productive despite my boredom but eventually I did ask for flextime and when I couldn’t get it, I quit.
The second time around looking for a job I was more aware of my skills, what was happening in the workforce and what I needed as far as flexibility, hours and pay. I was able to do a little networking and found the perfect job match for my skills and a better balance of work and family.
The article ends with suggesting 4 action items: find your confidence, establish your expectations, work with someone to build a resume and pursue the right job. I would offer a 5th action item: pray. When it became apparent that my first return to work job was not going to work for me or our family long term I started praying. I didn’t want to impulsively run from a job situation that wasn’t working only to find myself in another bad work situation. So as I was assessing my skills, building confidence and re-working my resume I was also praying that God would guide my steps. And after several months I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do and began pursuing it. That plan didn’t come together exactly the way I thought it would but an even better opportunity than I would have dreamed of came along at that same time. A plan that could only have been orchestrated by God.