Most women who become stay-at-home mothers when their children are young intend to return to their careers—someday.
And most stay-at-home moms actually earn money and contribute to household income, even though they define themselves with the SAHM box.
Wondering how to keep your career alive even if you choose to become a stay at home mom?
These strategies will help you be a MOMBOSS at home, and at work—
1. Update your LinkedIn profile to ‘consultant,’ ‘freelance’ or another term that works
You don’t have to put ‘Stay-At-Home-Mom” atop your LinkedIn profile if you don’t want to. Instead, think of creative ways to explain your new status—in a way that maintains your professional image. This leaves the possibility that a recruiter might find your profile and float you a perfect, flexible opportunity. Score.
Try this: Focus the verbiage on the skills you do have and the fact that you do your work on your terms. “Consultant.” “Freelancer.” “Project-based work.” They all work.
2. Maintain relationships + attend professional events in your industry
Women who let their professional networks drop when they have a baby often have a hard time jumping back in once the kids return to school, a report in Fast Company notes.
Try this: Grab coffee with your former co-workers. Keep in touch. Reach out and see what’s new from time to time. Attend an industry conference in the field you worked in before baby, or show up for an evening talk in your area of expertise. You’ll keep those connections alive—and you just might find out about flexible opportunities you can do on the side.
There are infinite opportunities to keep the skills you had before having a baby alive. You can find jobs in your community, or roles that you can do remotely. Ask for a title “Head of Community Outreach,” for example—and you’ve got yourself a powerful role you can add to your resume, no need to specific it’s a volunteer role.
Try this: Worked in accounting? Volunteer to review the books for a local community group. Digital marketer? Find a non-profit who is looking for a strategist to hone their technique. Teacher? Sign up to participate in teacher education workshops at a local school.
4. Work that side hustle
You can pick up freelance jobs, part-time work or even project-based work through websites like The Mom Project, which connects highly-educated women to crucial projects for a specific duration of time.
Try this: You can work at night for a few hours, on the weekends, or in between naptimes.
5. Negotiate to work on your terms
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to working motherhood, or being a stay-at-home mom.
Most women who consider themselves to be SAHMs, for example, also earn money on the side, a recent study found.
Try this: You can adjust any volunteer or paid work you do according to the needs of your family at any given time, so don’t feel pressure to commit to something forever. As a highly educated women with some serious job experience, you have more control than you might think to demand the terms that work for you with any potential employer. So be prepared to ask for what you want (5 hours a week? 1 day in the office? Project-based work?) and we won’t be surprised to find you get exactly that.
6. Become an online leader
Can’t head to the office every day due to the demands of managing a household? We. Get. It.
Try this: Build your brand where future employers or clients are likely to find it: Online, whether through a social media channel, or a blog devoted to your area of expertise.
Over time, you’ll become a trusted resource and expert in that area, leading to collaborations, revenue streams, and yes, future job opportunities. So blog, tweet, Insta + FB post to your heart’s content. You’re just building that brand, mama.
Ask yourself: What skill or interest do you really want to be known for? Focus on a topic that helps you stand out—and will connect you to a community looking for info + inspiration.