How can stay-at-home women plan for their return to the workforce?

As society piles expectations on women to take the onus of becoming the perfect housemakers, many of them are often not able to achieve their professional goals.

This trend was observed during the pandemic when their exit from the workforce was swift, with many quitting work to take care of their children and help with remote learning.

As the various sectors of the economy push back into full gear, the responsibility of maintaining a practical work-life balance would, once again, lie heavily on women.

For long, it has been an unsaid rule that women must look after the household. The situation has become challenging for those women who have become a parent during the pandemic.

While focusing on household work, professional lives of several women have taken a backseat.

Even as normalcy seems to be gradually returning to the labour market, studies suggest that most women are finding it difficult to bridge the gap and revive their professional life.

However, it seems the right time for stay-at-home mothers to rejoin the workforce and start afresh with their professional commitments. In this backdrop, let us discuss few factors that women can consider while making their way back into the labour market.

Enhance skillset

The job market has no dearth of individuals seeking the best opportunities.

In such a competitive environment, it can become hard for women who have lost touch with the corporate world to find a job that best complements their skill set.

Women certainly need to up their skill set in a way that makes them competitive.

Its well known that even the most seasoned workers and employees can miss out on the latest trends if they remain detached from their professional field for a long time.

Therefore, the first step in making a re-entry into the professional arena is to find out about the latest trends and technology, followed by efforts to imbibe them in one’s skill set.

Like any prospective employee, women can begin integrating professionally relevant activities into their everyday life, such as taking a virtual session and learning new digital tools.

This would help them build confidence and compete effectively in their chosen field.

Improve visibility to employers

Building an online presence via active participation in social media handles and blogs can help women form social connections from scratch. A good way to start is to develop an account on platforms such as LinkedIn, which opens doors to a diverse network of employers.

Some of these platforms also offer professional online courses that can help women upskill themselves and gain the required knowledge for desired jobs. Job seeking women can opt for courses from established websites or reputed institutes on trending tools/technologies.

Women can also enrol themselves in mid-career re-entry programs, which offers an internship-like experience for individuals returning from a career break.

Through these methods, women can bolster the chances of fetching their desired job while staying visible among a vast network of employers.

Devise a flexible plan

Working mothers often require adequate time to look after the family while constantly being on the run and managing their professional work commitments.

However, many companies have started recognising the hard work that goes behind managing a family and have brought flexible work schedules to the table for young parents.

Employer ought to understand an individual’s commitments beyond the professional setup.

Several companies have started lending their support through simple yet effective solutions for women, such as accommodating work hours or allowing them to leave the office early.

Therefore, women who require such assistance from their company can devise a workflow plan to prioritise their needs while staying transparent with their employer.

Be confident

It is critically essential for women to not give in to the fear of being not good enough and own the professional gender gap in their resume with great undettered confidence.

While women cannot add any job exposure to their employment history for the gap period, they can highlight other relevant skills gained in their resumes.

Besides, adding any courses or certifications undertaken during the break can help women catch employers’ attention to the resume.

In a nutshell, while re-entering the professional arena is not an easy task, any woman willing to rejoin the workforce should listen to her instincts and not get deterred by societal pressures.

Women should remain up to date with technology trends to stay competitive. Most importantly, women should be confident of their choices and enter the professional setup with conviction.

Mr. Kunal Sawhney , Chief Executive Officer of Kalkine Group, an independent equities research firm whose key goal is to provide investment ideas to clients that enable them to navigate and achieve success in complex markets.