Where to look for job vacancies
If you've been out of work for a while, you might feel that the whole finding-a-job world has moved on. In fact, it has just moved online.
Directgov has a huge database of job vacancies, and newspapers' websites have extensive job ad sections online, too. Have a browse.
If you trained in a specific field, for example healthcare or the civil service, then obviously the NHS or Civil Service websites are the place to start.
If your skills are more general, or you just want to get a feel for what's out there, there are myriad job vacancy and agency sites inviting you to narrow your search and upload your CV. These can be your 'shop window' for prospective employers.
And it's standard for companies (including Mumsnet) to have a page on their website listing staff vacancies. So if you used to be in engineering before children, but now your life's ambition is to work for John Lewis, then keep refreshing its jobs page.
Join a job club
Job clubs can be a good way of getting both support and contacts when you're searching for paid work – especially if you join a club that's especially designed for returning mothers.
A job club is a group of people who get together to share information and experiences around looking for work. It can be an online club, with chat forums and space to share advice and tips.
If there isn't a job club in your area, or you can't find one online that suits you, use the Going back to work Talk forum to start a thread that's relevant to your skillset and get other Mumsnetters' advice and information.
And also note that if you've been on benefits while you've been looking after your children, these might continue for a while once you've got a job. Directgov has details of who's eligible.