Hold the front page - being a SAHM for 8 years is shit for your future job prospects!

(29 Posts)
needthemoney Thu 07-Nov-13 15:04:59

Just that really. Working on my CV and there is just no way that I can make it look impressive. Most recent work experience is from 2005 and that looks shit whichever way you dress it up.

Waffling on about being on the PTA, volunteering at Bazaars and various rinky dink playgroup and school committees just sounds a bit lame.

Previous career was quite impressive but not one I want to return to as it's simply not suited to family life. Trying for jobs in shops, basic admin stuff and nowt doing.

Don't know why I'm posting really just feeling sorry for myself and wanting a rant!

NatashaBee Thu 07-Nov-13 15:09:36

Can you set up a linked in profile and get people to endorse your skills/write you a recommendation? Lots of recruiters/HR depts. check LinkedIn and it will allow you to network with contacts in case anything suitable comes up.

I don't think your PTA/volunteering/committees sounds like waffling to be honest, especially if you put it across in the right way. It's a tough job market at the moment though.

BanjoPlayingTiger Thu 07-Nov-13 15:10:06

I hear you! Things are much the same here unfortunately thanks and cake in an effort to cheer us both up.

YesterdayI Thu 07-Nov-13 15:14:53

Rant away, it is what we are here for smile

I think it depends on who is sifting though the applications. I am convinced that having a parenting gap on a CV is perfectly Ok for some employers whilst others see it as a huge negative. It just depends.

I am not convinced that trying to dress up SAHM'ing is necessary. It is what it is.

Good luck.

janey68 Thu 07-Nov-13 18:01:20

Speaking from the other side of the desk, as it were, (I manage a team and recruit to it fairly regularly) I agree that it's not a case of employers being anti SAHM per se

Realistically, employers want the best person for the job (not least because advertising and recruiting is a hugely expensive business) If the best person for the team is someone who hasn't worked for a year or two then so be it. Having said that, realistically 8 years is a long time and unless someone has seriously kept up to date with knowledge and skills, it's a simple fact that they are likely to be outshone by someone who has more to offer.

I just think that if you do decide to have a significant chunk of time out of the workplace, you have to think strategically and position yourself to be able to step back up when you want or need to. I also concur with the advice to not try to make being a SAHP into more than it is . Yes you could argue that it's helps develop organisational and time management skills etc etc... But frankly WOHP will have been just as likely To develop these skills through parenting so I wouldn't try to make out that the experience of being a SAHP is more than it really is (And that's not to devalue being a SAHP at all... Perfectly valid choice but as was said above, it is what it is, it's not going to give you any magic passport into the workplace )

NoComet Thu 07-Nov-13 18:06:14

Try 15 years and no career between being a postgrad and DD1!

Lavenderhoney Thu 07-Nov-13 18:11:35

Oh god its 6 for me, and I'm not going to throw myself into the shark tank of corporate life again! Not that they'd have me now anywaysmile

I've just been fiddling with my linkedin profile and depressesd myself by looking at top women execs in their 40's who have had babies and held down their top jobs, have a dh who also has a top job somewhere, and also have great hair. ( shallow).

NoComet Thu 07-Nov-13 20:16:05

Yes, but think of all the baby cuddles, first steps, toddler snuggles, school plays and preteen hugs they have missed.

Lavenderhoney Fri 08-Nov-13 06:18:43

Starballbunny, I'm with you on that one.

Plus a friend of mine was asked to bring a obituary for herself to an interview recently, so they could see how she wanted her life to be.

I can see mine- excellent at diverting tantrums and baking cakes but of course as no appraisal involved and she is already boss.. Plus asking the dc for a 360 reviewsmile what skills does your mummy have that you admire?

Ds - er, cleaning up sick and helping me read.
Dd- she's very good at cuddling. And making up stories.

Interveiwer- next!

needthemoney Fri 08-Nov-13 11:10:58

Thanks all! janey68 very interesting to hear your perspective too and really interesting points about the positioning of the SAHP thing. I always baulk away from making the SAHP stuff seem more than it is. It is what it is. I can imagine some professional woman looking at my CV thinking "hang on a minute, I've got 2/3/4 kids and managed to sustain a career at the same time and have hopefully "looked after" my kids along the way!"

I've put on my CV that I've kept my skills up to date but have I really?? I'm sure there are newer software packages out there that I would need to get my head round.

I'm just totally shocked and disappointed that in all those 8 years I didn't think of something that would make me oodles of money working for myself y'know all those "I made some ketchup on my kitchen table and now it's a multi-million pound business employing hundreds"

I suppose I'm frustrated that I don't seem to be able to even get a shop job. I think there are younger, more experienced unemployed people ahead of me in the queue for that - I have never worked in a shop.

Have thought about doing an ECDL so that I have concrete evidence of my computer skills - trouble is, as I am not signing on, I'd have to pay £200/300 for it. Am worrying about having no money to buy the kids Christmas presents this year so trying to find money for a course is impossible.

Am also shocked at the number of Job Centre advertised jobs that are sales-based with only On Target Earnings. Seems terrible that they are advertising these as proper jobs when you could end up working for nothing!

Twirlbitesruinedmylife Sat 09-Nov-13 18:19:08

Good luck OP. I took 8 yrs out before getting a very part time job (half a day a week). Since then I've continued to pick up part time roles and it works really well for me and my children.

Gatekeeper Mon 11-Nov-13 14:30:30

In exactly the same boat; been SAHM for last ten years and have started looking around getting more depressed! needthemoney I registered as unemployed last month.I don't get any benefits but because i can prove I am signing on I enrolled for free on a BTEC IT course an am looking around for other ones

RobinVanPrissy Mon 11-Nov-13 14:34:17

Update your training? Volunteering (beyond PTA etc) in the area you want to move in to?

I was a SAHM for a few years. The above is how I got back in to the job market.

Good luck.

Lavenderhoney Mon 11-Nov-13 15:09:24

I have just received my degree from open university, in business and strategy ( did it at night when dc in bed) and I was professionally qualified before, so I'm hoping that will look better, plus keep me in the market that seems to want only graduates, and degrees, even if the job is pure admin and you did it before!

Have a look at the new jobs out there. Social media based, some jobs just weren't around a few years ago, and skills might be transferable.

Or apply direct to companies you like, get in touch with old co workers on linked in, and make sure your cv is very polished.

needthemoney Mon 11-Nov-13 17:26:22

Gatekeeper that's interesting about signing on even though you are not entitled to benefits. If that could get me access to some courses especially IT ones that would be great. I honestly don't have the spare cash to be spending on courses - Catch 22.

I think I definitely need to update my training and have been looking at the new social media-based jobs and wondered if I could get into that area. I suppose they are natural extensions of PR/Marketing roles which isn't something I have direct experience of.

Am avoiding LinkedIn purely for the reason that lots of my colleagues have gone on to have stratospheric careers in their field and most would fall off their chairs laughing at my profile. I have spent hours polishing a turd polishing my CV grin

Gatekeeper Tue 12-Nov-13 08:09:11

easy to register; same procedure as for benefits but its for credits only . Ask them about careers advice, retraining etc as you are a returner to the labour market. When I went for the first time there were 2 organisations purely looking to sign people up for free courses

needthemoney Tue 12-Nov-13 11:43:12

Thanks Gatekeeper will hotfoot it round to my nearest Jobcentre.

ElizabethJonesMartin Tue 12-Nov-13 18:14:02

It is important women pregnant with their first child read threads like this. Taking time out is not necessarily the best or easiest option, not when looking longer term and those of us who have always worked full time which is pretty hard when you have small babies and toddlers often do think it is the right decision.

You say your previous career is not suited to family life. What about just turning that idea around in your head. Could your husband not do the family life things and you have the full time career in what you want to do? Or could you not change things at home so that the family fit around that career which you were so good at?

needthemoney Tue 12-Nov-13 18:50:53

ElizabethJonesMartin - you can't have your cake and eat it can you. There's brilliant things that I've loved about being at home for sure - I think words like "best", "easiest" and "right" are pretty subjective but let's not turn this into a debate about all of that.

I know women who have stuck it out in the career I was in and have families and are very successful. MOST of them have been facilitated by either having a) family nearby and/or b) a partner who is has a less time-consuming job. I remember some of them working with me late into the night having those conversations with their kids on the phone apologising and saying night night and saying they will read them a bedtime story tomorrow. Coming off the phone feeling shite. Maybe that made me a little more keen on being at home (I was pre-kids obv. at this time). Mind you their kids are now doing marvellously at school/university and the Mums are sitting pretty in lovely houses.

I know it's a bit of a "no-shit Sherlock" conundrum I present!

My previous career was also contract-based. My partner has a staff job in a similar industry with sick pay, holiday pay and a pension, there is NO way he can give that up in this climate.

There are a few courses I think might be useful to do. A lot of admin jobs seem to want people who can update and manage the company website so I might do a webmaster course. I have seen them locally for £350 - unfortunately they have stopped doing ILAs for people who already have degrees (even though I graduated 24 years ago!). I can't pay this month's credit card bill never mind rustle up £350!

But summat will crop up I'm sure. It's very hard feeling this worthless though sad

lljkk Wed 20-Nov-13 16:13:38

<whispers> I did it, 8 yr break, prestigious(?) previous career, didn't think I wanted to go back to old job.

I went back to something similar, eventually. Didn't update training but have grabbed every training opportunity current employer offers. Did also work as a dinner lady for a while; it's hilarious how nervous I was about it at first, too!

whereiseveryone Fri 22-Nov-13 23:30:53

I've had jobs that have required me to update and manage the company website. It's generally updating text, uploading new photos/docs and updating hyperlinks. It's pretty easy and someone in the office showed me how. I wouldn't shell out £350 on a webmaster course unless I knew I was going to use it.

IME, bigger website changes (i.e. adding pages, changing the structure and redesigning) don't happen that often and someone with a bit more technical knowledge (like a Developer) will be doing the job rather an Administrator.

Rojak Mon 25-Nov-13 02:18:16

OP I share your frustration. I am 7 years out and now looking to back to work.

I spoke to a recruitment consultant recently who recommended taking on a short contract role at a lower level or working for a friend or someone you know (who could give you a job), it helps to have some stability on your CV for a while before you go straight back in as employers like to see that stability.

For some quick cash this Xmas, a lot of shops will be looking for additional staff now. I know a friend who started off temping in Ikea and then staying on.

No other advice but I hope you find something soon. (I won't tell you how many CVs and positions I've applied for the in the last 4 months and failing to even get an interview....)

I know my children have benefited enormously from having me home, it's just difficult now trying to get back in. I often wonder what I would advise my DD to do in the same situation.

Youngnewmum Wed 27-Nov-13 20:30:00

Hi, this is exactly what i worry about. I had my DS 7 months ago and as i am still in my mid twenties, i worry that by being a SAHM i will ruin my career chances. I have never been a proper career woman and always wanted to have children early, but i would like to do something especially as i have a 1st class degree that i worked very hard for (while i had my baby). My husband works full time and we a lucky to be able to afford a decent life with only his income, but i dont really want to become unemployable. On the other hand, child care is so expensive that i would probably end up paying away my salary and not spending time with my child. Which is the point my husband makes. Now reading these posts i am even more worried. Sorry, not being very helpful here confused

pombal Wed 27-Nov-13 20:52:18

I think admin jobs are hard to get because they attract a lot of applications.

Do you have skills that would allow you to apply for something more specialised.

Alternatively, temping or self employment, ok maybe you won't be the next 'mumtrepeneur' or whatever they call it, but what skills do you have that people would pay money for?

I work as a freelance trainer, I work for different companies, providing training in my pre child area.

Working for yourself you can build up a reputation by word of mouth, then no one will give a monkeys about your CV smile

pombal Wed 27-Nov-13 20:54:10

Sorry for typos, typing in dark one handed while toddler nods off

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