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From parent to employee – how to transition your career

From parent to employee – how to transition your career

Being a parent is the most rewarding, enjoyable and challenging role in the world.  The difference is you are paid in love and not cold hard cash. 

As a parent when you get to the point where you are in a position to return to some form of paid work, how do you set yourself up for success?

You probably have more skills than you realise…here’s where to start.

1 – Write a list
Consider everything you have done since the last job on your CV.  It may be:

  • paid or unpaid work
  • courses/workshops to upskill
  • involvement as part of a school or sporting committee
  • experiences and knowledge gained

It all counts.

The key to using this information is including the parts relevant to the job you are applying for when you craft your CV.   

2 – Update your CV

Once you have your list, use this to add detail to your CV.  Highlight your volunteer work, workshops, unpaid work or other relevant activities. We often leave a gap with “home-duties”.  I guarantee you have done far more than just home-duties as an active parent.

The devil is in the detail – make sure you list your achievements and use examples:

  • If you helped organise a school gala which made a profit of $10,000 for your school, add that in, including the part you played in the success!
  • I know a fabulous multi-talented mum who was a consultant for half a year selling a very expensive branded kitchen appliance. Selling at over $2000 each, she sold 15 in a 6 month period – including this detail in your CV demonstrates an ability to achieve sales targets and goals.
  • Another parent was a local coach of their son’s sporting team who applied for funding for mouthguards. He was successful in this application which resulted in 140 children benefiting from his application.

Click here for CV tips and links.

3 – Successful parenting is a skill

“I see a lot of mums and dads returning to the workforce.  Whilst they have been engaged in the most important job in the world (bringing up their children) they have also established many transferable skills; time management, budgeting, communications.” Our local CV Expert Jo Hazlitt from CV Edge explains stay at home parents have built up numerous skills in bringing up their children.

4 – Know what you can commit to

By confirming what your availability is to an employer, you remove any barriers in their selection process.  If your availability is school hours, include you are looking for work and can commit to 9 – 3 Monday through Friday.  If you are a parent of younger children mention you have care organised for them and can commit to full-time work.   

5 – Network far and wide

As a parent you are exposed to a wide network, if you are looking to get back into the workplace talk to others!  Word of mouth is a powerful thing.

Don’t forget your local friendly recruitment agency PN Personnel.  We cover recruitment for Palmerston North and the wider region – with recent recruits in Whanganui, Waipukurau and Hastings.

Robyn Bills

Robyn Bills

Robyn brings with her a wealth of local knowledge and connections. She has worked in a range of businesses and industries including; account management/sales (both locally and nationally), healthcare, media, real estate, manufacturing and NZ tourism. This gives Robyn the ability to draw on personal experience and apply these skills to your business or personal situation.

Phone 06 280 2401 Mobile 027 699 9077 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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(06) 356 6091 Fax: (06) 356 6071

53 Princess Street, Palmerston North 4410
PO Box 594, Palmerston North 4440


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