In the Sydney Morning Herald interview with Model Miranda Kerr, she spoke about how she is choosing to leave Victoria’s Secret because after she became a mother she knew she needed to prioritize her time. She was choosing to leave her lucrative career because she could afford to stay home with her son.
When I had my daughter in late Summer of 2012, I had decided that I would not be returning to my job as a school social worker. I had worked in a charter school, which meant longer days and a longer school year. I loved my job and never minded the extra time commitment to my students until I had my daughter. I did not want to be away from her that long each day and knew that if I reorganized my finances I could make it work. The hard part for me was that I had worked hard for my graduate degree and to pass my licensure exam. I did not want to completely be out of the workforce and did not want to have a 1 year (or more) gap on my resume. Thus, I decided to still be active in my field but on my terms.
Volunteer. I knew that I wanted to still be active in my field, but I also wanted to expand my knowledge in other areas to make me more of an attractive candidate when I chose to re-enter the work world. Since I already had experience in a school, I chose to volunteer working with the elderly. Gaining this experience allowed me to broaden the agencies I could apply to when I re-entered the work force.
Continuing Education. I knew I wanted to keep up-to-date with new information in my field. I attended many free trainings and seminars to show my future employer that I was still aware of all the current research and to show that I was continuing to keep active in my field despite not reporting to a 9 to 5 job each day.
Utilize your Library. I was shocked as to how much the public library offers free of charge. I was able to sign up for a free CPR class, a beginners Spanish class, and even a writing class. There may be several classes or seminars that you could take advantage of that will assist you when applying for jobs. What employer would not like the fact that you learned the basics of another language while home with your child? Be sure to look at your library’s upcoming events for programs that might be of interest to you.
It is wonderful if you are able to temporally leave the work force while caring for your child. However, you do not want to put yourself in a situation that will make it hard for you to become employed again when your chose to go back to work. There are many ways you can gain new experience, stay active by volunteering or working per-diem, and by attending free courses and seminars.