The kids are grown, maybe not left home, but certainly quite capable of looking after themselves, though sometimes the pile in the laundry doesn’t agree!
You wake up one day and realise that, finally, your world doesn’t revolve around everything your children say or do. You are no longer tied to that imaginary string that had everything in your life fitting in with everything in theirs (although, that string can be a bungee cord; it can suddenly and inexplicably snap back without warning!).
Are you the organiser of coffee dates with your friends? Does your spare time revolve around tennis or trips to the gym? Does this accumulation of ‘spare time’ mean you are looking for things to fill your days? Maybe you are even a little bored? Perhaps you have thought about going back to work now that your not so little darlings seem not to need you so much.
Finding a job after children can be daunting. Whether it has been 5 years or 15 years, you may feel that you have lost touch with your previous career or your skills are rusty or out of date. You may even consider that you are too old. Now may be the time to try something new.
There are various ways you can begin the process of getting back into the workforce. Consider whether you need a paid job to begin with and think about trying volunteer work. This is a great way to make new contacts, strengthen or brush up on skills you haven’t used in a while and also engage in a new social circle. This type of work may also put you in the box seat for any paid positions that become available in the organisation. Sometimes, being ‘Johnny’ on the spot can bring huge advantages. Doing something to help others without being rewarded, warms the soul and looks great on a resume when you are ready to move on. There are volunteer centres in every state if you are not sure where to start.
Investigate doing some further education to update your knowledge base. Short courses and much more are open to everyone at your local Adult and Community Education centre or TAFE College. Have a chat with the professionals about what you want to achieve and don’t forget to ask about RPL or recognised prior learning. You may have skills through previous education or life experience which can be credited toward gaining a certification, meaning you need less time in the classroom to achieve your goal.
Don’t forget the skills and experience that you have gained over the years you cared for your children. The time you spent in unpaid work managing your child’s soccer team, school fundraising committees, balancing a tight budget in your own household, it is all experience and demonstrates your work ethic and reliability.
Once you feel you are ready to take the plunge and begin the search for a paid position, a great way to start can be part time, casual or even temporary employment contracts. Temporary or fixed short term employment contracts offer the best of both worlds. They give you the opportunity to gain up to date experience and also a chance for you to evaluate whether you are happy doing the work. Even if you don’t like it you know you are only going to be there for a certain amount of time and if you love it, all the better. Temporary work may also present opportunities for permanency as well.
Whatever you do, set your goals, be realistic about them and set target dates also; what you want to achieve and when you would like that to happen. Finding a job after children will be a scary, exciting, nerve wracking, fun and rewarding experience. Be sure to enjoy this next phase of your life, make some new friends, learn new skills, earn some extra money!
What do you want to be when your kids grow up? And what are you going to do with the first pay cheque from your new job?
- Jobs available