Real Jobs for Enterprising Moms
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Make a List of Your KSAs
KSAs or your Knowledge Skills and Abilities are qualifications created by employers to determine which applicant is best suited to fulfill a position. These factors are examined in conjunction with a resume. While not every employer uses this framework, creating a personal list of KSAs is a useful exercise to prepare yourself for finding a suitable position, selling potential employers on your worth, and negotiating your salary. Let’s examine what each factor means using a simple illustration of flaky pie crust (because who doesn’t like pie?)
Knowledge refers to what you understand about certain concepts, but not what you have experience doing. As an example, you may be knowledgeable about how making flaky pie crust works, but you’ve never attempted to make a flaky pie crust.
Skills refers to capabilities you’ve developed through training or experience. As an example, after studying a recipe on how to make a flaky pie crust, you baked a pie following the recipe for the flaky crust.
Abilities refers to the capabilities which you possess that impact your ability to perform a particular task. As an example, you’ve studied the recipe on how to make a flaky pie crust, you baked a pie following that recipe for the flaky crust, and you were successful in creating the flaky crust you were craving OR you failed miserably at making the pie crust recipe and you’ve got a soggy mess on your hands.
(In case you’re curious, I fall into the second category as it concerns my pie crust baking ability).
You may not be asked to provide KSA statements when applying for a job, but having them available will get you into the mindset you need to land the job you want. Here is a handy guide on how to write your KSAs.
From Bread Baker to Bread Maker
Update Your Resume
Love them or hate them, resumes are your key to grabbing an employer’s attention. Done well, a good resume will usher you into the next step of the employment process. If it’s been awhile since you’ve written a resume, it’s worth investing in a professional resume writing service. You can run a search on Linkedin for recommended services in your city or you can try your luck on Fiverr.
Create Your Portfolio
If you are planning to enter or reenter an industry that requires you showcase your work with a portfolio, now is the time to assemble one in an easily accessible form. Anyone can and should have a simple virtual portfolio to send to a potential employer along with a physical one if needed. If you’re a writer, you can set up a temporary portfolio on Contently. If you are a programmer, you can show off your chops on Github. Behance is another powerful platform for displaying your creative work.
I personally don’t believe it’s wise for you to build your sole platform on top of anyone else’s. When you use someone else’s platform, you have to work within the confines of what they’ve built. A better option is to create your own website so you can have the flexibility and freedom you need to put your best foot forward. This is not as daunting a task as it may seem. I’ll show you how to do it yourself in an upcoming post.
Join A Reputable Job Board
It’s no secret that job seekers are routinely taken advantage of by con artists looking to exploit desperate people. The internet can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to finding legitimate jobs, so it’s important to know how to spot reputable sites. Even when you are on a trusted job board, beware the posters. Scam artists go through a lot of trouble to deceive others, so if something seems off, run in the other direction. Here are some job boards you can trust:
ProBlogger is an excellent place for writers and content creators to find paid work.
Glassdoor is a great job search platform because it gives you access to reviews and salary information from current and former employees of each company. This is excellent info to have when it comes to determining whether a job will fit your lifestyle and weighing salary options.
Power to Fly is a recruiting platform that specializes in helping women job seekers who are interested in tech.
FlexJobs is a great job board that only lists jobs that the staff have verified to be legitimate. FlexJobs is unique in that it promotes flexible remote work, which is an appealing option when you’ve got children at home. There is a fee to join, but it is absolutely worth it for finding quality work. If you can, spring for the annual plan to save money. Take the skills assessments to boost your profile and check out the members-only resources to aid you during your job search.
Dice is a fantastic place to find tech related jobs and resources for job seekers.
LinkUp is a job board that pulls listings directly from company websites that are current and unadvertised.
Linkedin is the largest virtual network for professionals. This is a great place to look for work in nearly every industry. Read on for details on why joining Linkedin should be a part of your job search strategy.
Linkedin is a unique platform for professionals that combines social media, networking, job listings, content marketing, and basic career training for its members. In short, it’s a more serious, job oriented version of Facebook. It’s free to join, but the premium membership option has additional benefits that aid the serious job seeker. Professional recruiters and employers regularly search Linkedin to find qualified candidates.
When you join, fill out your profile and work history completely. Remember to use keywords that will help your profile be found in the search results. Build your network by connecting with old coworkers and employers who can endorse you for the skills you list on your profile. Add pieces to your built-in portfolio and submit articles to Linkedin’s article publishing platform. Participate in industry specific groups with useful information so that you stand out as an expert.
I barely use Linkedin and I’ll admit that my profile needs a major update. Nevertheless, I am regularly contacted by recruiters on the platform who are looking for hire me to write for their companies. I can only imagine how many inquiries I would get if I would put forth more effort (but my plate is full at the moment!). If you invest enough time in creating your Linkedin profile, you will also set yourself up for networking success.
From Bread Baker to Bread Maker
Learn New skills
One of the best ways to stand out as a candidate is to commit to continually expanding or improving your skill set. There are several paid and free options for doing this. Depending on your industry, you can find approved courses to take by consulting the licensing agency where you obtained your credentials. Attend conferences to discover the latest technologies and practices in your field. Earn a professional certificate at a community college or from an online university. Volunteer for local or virtual projects that are relevant to your field to boost your resume, your portfolio, or your network.
Build Your Support System
Adding work on top of your other responsibilities will require more of your energy and more of your time. It’ll also mean big changes for your children whether you’ll be working outside of the home or working remotely. Work with your husband to decide on a course of action that will meet your needs. Perhaps this means your children will spend more time with their grandparents or a mother’s helper. Maybe it makes sense to hire a maid a couple times a month to keep up with the home. Working a different shift from your spouse could make it so that one of you is always home if planned correctly. You could work together with some girlfriends to plan a weekly childcare exchange provided your schedule is flexible enough.
Prepare your children
If your children have never experienced you as a working mom, you will need to prepare them for the changes to come. If you are working from home, create a dedicated workspace and let them know what to expect when you are using it. Coordinate with your spouse so your kids can spend special time with daddy while you knock out your to-do list. If you’re going to be utilizing additional caregivers, let your children get used to spending time with them before you begin working. If you’re planning to work outside of the home, take advantage of Take Your Son and Daughter to Work Day and let your children see where you’ll be spending your time.
Enjoy the process
Finding work after being a Stay At Home Mom will take time. Be patient with the process and be proactive as you wait to be hired. If you’re not getting the traction you need or if you’re ready to create your opportunity rather than find one, entrepreneurship may be for you. Check out my free guide Real Jobs for Enterprising Stay At Home Moms.