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Stay at home mom TRYING to get back to work...

So my husband and I moved to a new state because he accepted a great position at a TV Sports Company. When we moved I knew I wanted to take some time off because I worked in television too and we always worked 12-15 hr days. 6 months later, we bought a home and soon after I got the baby bug and got pregnant. My son is now a little over 2 and since he was 1 I have been trying to get back to work. I want to go back before having another baby and I would like to work fulltime again when the kids are in school. I have had several preliminary interviews/conversations with recruiters from my husbands company because ideally I would fit in well there. The first recruiter was very young, single...no kids probably either because she was very condescending when we spoke..."Oh cute, so you think you can just work here because your husband works here even though you haven't worked in 3 years?" That's not exactly what she said but she definitely wasn't any help. I recently spoke to another recruiter from the same company and thank God she was a mom, but again, nothing came from it. Not to sound negative but I know I haven't gotten any luck because I have a gap in my resume. Nobody is exactly looking for a stay at home mom who hasn't worked in a while either and I realize that. And I also know they're not gonna flat out say they're not hiring me because I have a gap in my resume either or that I am a mom. I don't have family at all anywhere near here so I can't just take a volunteer position or a part time job during the week. Well, I applied to Carter's (the kid clothing store) so I can just work on the weekends for a little extra money and I don't have to worry about daycare since my husband is home on weekends. 2 days later, I got a rejection email from Carter's! I mean really? I have 7 years experience of media/communications experience and I'm a mom! So now I'm not qualified for these jobs either? Doesn't make sense! I have a regret not working right when we moved but I certainly don't regret being a stay at home mom either! My son and I have had the best 2 years and are always exploring our new state. Is anyone in a similar situation? My husband and I are seriously working on relocating hoping it'll change my luck even though he has a great job. I come from a working family and I can't imagine not going back. This isn't a discussion of me being bored with being a mom or anything like that. More so a conversation of how to prepare to go back to work fulltime if nobody is giving me a chance! My husband and I are planning on getting pregnant with our next one next summer so we have a little more time to look for a job for me/new job for him. Any advice would help.  

Re: Stay at home mom TRYING to get back to work...

  • Unfortunately, the economy is really tough right now and the job market is still pretty bleak.  And I know that media was an industry that was especially hard hit.  My BIL was the producer for a news show during the worst of it and he had to lay off half their production staff.

    A gap in a person's work history is always a challenge, but it especially is if there are tons of candidates all fighting for the same openings.

    Heck, my H has been unemployed for over two years :(.  He has had a number of interviews in that time, but no offers.  And I suspect the gap in his work history has something to do with that, even though he is immensely qualified for the positions he interviewed for.

    I'm sorry to be Debbie Downer!  But that is the reality of it all.

    But stay the course!  Keep applying for the jobs you are interested in/qualified for.  You just never know when something will "click".  Even in good times for job hunting, you'll typically only hear back from 5-10% of the resumes you send out anyway.

    One red flag I see in your post that is something to watch out for is you keep mentioning your own kids and you seem oddly focused on whether the interviewer is a mother or not.  Even to the point of assuming the younger interviewer was not a mother because she could not relate to you (what I read into your post, not quite your words).

    In interviews and in the workplace.  It doesn't matter if you are a mother.  It doesn't matter if your interviewer is a parent or your eventual coworkers are parents.  What matters is if you can do the work and can work the hours scheduled.  I don't know if you are bringing up children in your interview or...even worse...if they are, but this isn't a subject that should even come up at all.  I suppose it would be slightly okay for you to bring it up if it is relevant to the conversation...for example if you got an interview for Carters, but generally avoid it unless it is maybe just a super casual mention as part of a conversation.

    For your gap when asked about it, I wouldn't even remotely talk about that you wanted to have a baby and then be a SAHM for a few years.  I would talk about your H's transfer and you had to quit your previous job because of it.  And that it's been difficult to find the right fit in the current, tight economy.  It's a bit of a white lie, but people understand the bad economy.  I would also suggest a Google search on other good ways to explain a gap in employment.

    As an aside, I've been an interviewer.  And, while I obviously can't speak for everyone, it never even remotely crossed my mind if someone was a parent.  Because that is not a factor in whether they can do the work or not.  I would have been highly offended if someone felt I did not connect with them because they are a mother and I am not.

    I'm not disagreeing that the first interviewer was a snotty PITA.  I've had interviews like that.  But I also couldn't help but feel a twinge of you feeling discriminated against because your a mother and "non-mothers just aren't going to understand me and my situation".  I think on that aspect you might be seeing things that aren't there.  I know, I wasn't there!  But that is a theme running through your post and, generally speaking, it hasn't been my experience that mothers are discriminated against or looked down on in the workplace.

  • Totally, thank you so much for your response! I definitely don't mention the kid thing during interviews and I found with the recruiter who was a mom...we just clicked more and I knew she wasn't judging me because she was a mother too. She actually told me that the gap in my resume really wasn't a big deal at all. (I was happy when she said that!) I know once I get back to work my insecurities about feeling like people maybe not giving me a chance won't be there obviously but I will admit I felt that weirdness with the young recruiter because of her attitude. I've worked with plenty of moms but many already had the job before they gave birth so coming back was a little more secure. We moved and it was a whole new beginning for me because we weren't even gonna hv a baby for a while. (That changed once we bought our home lol) I can't help but see on LinkedIn the people who got the job that I tried to get and they are 99% of the time have much less experience and right out of college. I personally don't know anyone who is in the same boat cause my mom friends don't want to go back to work. I was excited to see this forum on the nest cause I just needed a little pick me up after the rejection from freakin Carter's lol! We are so lucky that everyone is healthy and everything is great and that's always what I'm thankful for the most. I've heard many recruiter stories from my friends who do work and they do not have the greatest things to say either sometimes even though they may not have kids themselves. It's just hard to let go of my career self and wonder if that person can ever come back? You know? My main goal is to continue to focus on my son and all the fun we have and not why this and that isn't happening. I know it'll come but I will admit when I became a mom I thought that work side of me would just shut off like a switch, darn! It didn't!
  • I have a friend who along with her DH works in TV, her behind the camera, him in front. She took 1 year off with their son and it took her until he was in first grade to get her career back to where it was pre baby. During that time she worked in media relations at a zoo, public relations for a sports franchise and various other jobs like that. She also volunteered at the local universities tv station and on a public access TV station. It took her 4 years to get her first news job,.
  • Just another thought to think about.  You seem to have a lot of qualifications and experience.  Not that those are bad, but especially in terms of the Carter's job, they're going to look at you compared to the qualifications.  Somebody who is way over qualified probably isn't going to stick around for the long term.  You'll be there until you find something better because the perception is that you won't be happy with the pay or the work.

    That could also be the issue with the jobs at your husband's company depending on the experience required.
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  • jtmh2012 said:
    Just another thought to think about.  You seem to have a lot of qualifications and experience.  Not that those are bad, but especially in terms of the Carter's job, they're going to look at you compared to the qualifications.  Somebody who is way over qualified probably isn't going to stick around for the long term.  You'll be there until you find something better because the perception is that you won't be happy with the pay or the work.

    That could also be the issue with the jobs at your husband's company depending on the experience required.

    This is an awesome point, because I could definitely read in your post that getting a rejection letter from Carters was a huge blow to morale.  Totally understandable.  I felt the same way when I was unemployed, applied for a managerial position at a retail store, thinking "I'm so overqualified OF COURSE they will call me."  And they didn't, lol.

    But that absolutely happens.  As an interviewer, I was always wary of candidates who were so much more qualified than what the position called for, like "I don't understand why they are applying for this position.  Is this just a stop gap job?  Is there something about them that is difficult to employ?"  It wasn't a deal breaker, but it put my ears up.

    I adjust my resume and cover letter to the specific job I am applying for.  And I remember a few times when I "simplified" it, for lack of a better word, so that I would not appear too over qualified for a job I was applying to.

    I have another thought for you.  Granted, I don't know a lot about this, but I've heard social/online media is becoming exponentially popular with businesses, big and small.  If needed, perhaps you can beef up your knowledge of this type of advertising/media campaigning and either start your own business doing this type of work for companies or add this skill to your resume/mention in an interview.

    Here is an example of how I used that.  I applied for a job as an executive assistant to the president of a trade school.  I didn't have anything on my resume about internet marketing but, in the interview, I mentioned that I had noticed when I put the exact name of their school into Google...there were two other trade school names that came up first in the natural (ie not paid for) results.

    I expressed my concern about this for them and told her I could boost her school's online presence if she would like to add that to my scope of responsibilities...as an aside, see how that last piece of what I told her used assumptive wording ;).  She looked absolutely dumbfounded and I knew I had just blown her socks off...by giving her an additional something to help her business that she was not expecting.  BTW, she did offer me the job, though I chose not to take it because the salary was a lot below average for what it should have been.

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