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How do I make myself employable?

(14 Posts)
TheElfOnThePanopticon Wed 05-Dec-12 12:14:42

I wad redundant when I was pregnant with DD 6 years ago and have been a sahm ever since. DS will be getting preschool funding from January, so I have a year and a half to start gearing up for work before I start looking for a job when he starts full time school.

I have a very good first degree, and professional qualifications from careers I don't want to return to. Before I had kids I was a children's bookseller, and would ideally be looking for work as a library assistant. How do I go about building up a CV/ getting references etc?

mumof4sons Wed 05-Dec-12 18:02:35

Do you do any volunteer work? I volunteered as a listener to reading at the local primary. I also held posts within the committee running the playgroup, the school PTA and the local NCT.

I think that these show employers that you were involved with your community while raising a family.

As for references I asked the Chair of the various committees to write one for me.

LadyKinbote Wed 05-Dec-12 18:11:38

Lots of libraries use volunteers so that would be a good place to start. And don't try to hide your career break in interviews / application forms, approach it head on: "I've been a SAHM for six years but now DS has started preschool I'm really excited by the prospect of getting back to the workplace".

lljkk Mon 10-Dec-12 09:59:59

I believe that you will have to consider retraining if you don't want to go back to what you did before. I am in your situation, too, in spite of many degrees & highly tech background, and I can't even get an interview for a library job. The bookseller past might be an extra advantage, though, I didn't have that (just a long string of publications to my name, including a book).

I know a lady with PGCE & 15 years of work experience before that (fairly professional). After 5 years as SAHM, she decided to work in preschool education and has jumped on an NVQ Level 1 course. She has been given a job on the condition she complete relevant NVQ courses. I don't think you can be over-qualified nowadays.

jonathansmith Mon 10-Dec-12 12:05:07

I am in the same situation too. I too want to work as a library assistant.

wol1968 Wed 12-Dec-12 13:05:34

jonathansmith - please don't. There is no work in libraries any more, not of the paid variety. I have a librarianship diploma but never found a 'professional' level post, and those jobs I did get we were always trying to justify our existence to management and bean-counters. I need to think about getting back to work, but naturally with a Desmond in English (albeit from Russell Group uni) and after 11 years as a SAHM, everyone's queueing up to employ me, and why wouldn't they? hmm

wol1968 Thu 20-Dec-12 13:29:49

(not just bumping this, honest)...

It's occurred to me that the issue is not about whether you are 'employable'. If you will turn up in time for work every day, not miss days because of hangovers, can't-be-botheredness or Monday morning syndrome, and if you're bright enough to pick skills up on the job, you are 'employable'. Most of us are. The real issue here is whether we are marketable, not employable. And getting ourselves into a marketable state is a constant nightmare of shifting goalposts and economic quagmire. Employers want so many different things, in terms of qualifications, prior experience, proof of prior experience, demonstration of 'correct' personality and an ever-changing tick-box list, which in reality often have little to do with someone's ability to do the job effectively.

This is something I have to remind myself of regularly: that I can work, that I can do a job, but the process of maximising my chances (and they are down to chance in the end, be it 1 in 200 or the 1 in 6 or so at interview) of getting a job is a very, very difficult one and I shouldn't beat myself up for failing so often.

NorbertDentressangle Thu 20-Dec-12 13:35:49

I agree with whoever said voluntary work - it certainly helped me back into work after 6 years as a SAHM.

The charity I worked for was always looking for book sorters as they had a charity book shop - they needed people who could identify saleable/non-saleable/valuable books, categorize them etc.
Any charity books hops near you that might need similar volunteers?

Bunbaker Thu 20-Dec-12 13:39:33

I would also suggest you bring yourself up to speed with the latest computer software. I use Excel, Access and Word at work as well as our bespoke software.

givemeaclue Thu 20-Dec-12 13:40:53

I would follow up on several options that will give you the best chance. So as well as librarian what else are you interested in? Publishing, teaching, editing, etc?

brettgirl2 Fri 21-Dec-12 14:27:29

I think looking for library work is going to be very hard. Arent they all being closed down? Have you actually seen any vacancies? What is it about this type of work that appeals..... maybe we can come up with some other ideas to broaden your options a bit.

Bonsoir Fri 21-Dec-12 14:32:19

Does your DCs' school (or another local school) need help sorting and organising its library in any shape or form? If you could do that as a voluntary job (and you are clearly ideally qualified to do so), that would be a good place to start.

Judging from posts on MN, lots of schools have "issues" with organising books/reading schemes etc.

HoHoHoMoreBaubles Fri 21-Dec-12 15:00:44

Its is all about transferrable skills. I work in recruitment and the more evidence of transferrable skills you have, the bettersmile

Write a list of the skills you are confident with and use them in a 'Key Skills' section after your personal statement on your CV. Add in your excitement and enthusiasm for working in 'X' environment (can be adjusted for the job you apply for) and how you have been able to apply your skills to your SAHM life and are confident your skills would be a valuable asset to the company you are looking to joinsmile

It is how you sell yourself that matters not what you have done in the pastsmile

I agree to be open about being a SAHM as it is good to show you will be a committed team member as you have a family you want to support etc etc etc

InNeedOfBrandyButter Fri 21-Dec-12 15:06:12

I have just started a new job and the feedback from my interview was the biggest reason I got the job was my enthusiasm at the interview and big big dropping in things from the website and company ethos and I stressed I could start straight away.

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