Stay In The Game
Expert advice on how to get back into the working world after a post-baby hiatus
Be realistic when you return "Know that you may have to come in at a different place from where you left, so make sure you've placed the bar at a realistic level for yourself," says Cali Williams Yost, author of Work + Life: Finding the Fit That's Right for You (Riverhead, 2004). "Yet really value and honor what you've done while you were out--you'll project that confidence."
Think about what you really want You may decide to return to part-time work, or, after having had some time away, you may want to do something else entirely. A good way to get a real feel for another profession is to "shadow" someone in the job, Collamer says. Spend a day with a lawyer friend or ask to assist a real-estate agent you know with an open house. That way, you've looked before you've leapt.
Realize your true value "I'll hire moms over other job-searchers any day, because they have so much experience in multitasking," says certified public accountant Karen Sackstein, a mom whose accounting business employs only mothers who make their own flexible schedules--including one woman who had been away from the workforce for so long that she didn't know how to use e-mail.
"Job hunting is hard for anyone, yet many women have successfully gone back to work after having children," Collamer says. "As a mother, you bring an enormous amount of maturity, experience and knowledge to the table." Which means your next employer is going to be lucky to have you.