Employment history of the SAHM? Compared to my last resume?
Around the same time I also read a post about how staying home with your kids is a career choice not a moral imperative.
Right on! I don’t think I am morally superior (really, people?) for staying home to raise the Small People. I agree completely that this decision was conscious choice made the day I quit my job when Zach was 14 months old.
Then there was finding the resume’ which made me start to consider how I was going to document my current employment. Because what I’m doing is actual work–there is no bon-bon eating while my delightful children play neatly and quietly together on the floor. The stereotypical response to that statement is “yeah, but it’s not work/work. How much cerebral activity is there in Duck, Duck Goose?” To which I am now going to start responding with: “Hold up a second. Sure, being a part of drug development research (and the myriad of tasks therein) was full of mental challenges. But let’s stop over-selling the degree to which most people, on most days, use their full mental capacity at work.” There are many pretty phrases–Coordinates preparation of study materials –to describe making binders. Most of the work involved with binder-making is copy, collate, and ship. Yes, you can screw that part up (raises hand) but that’s carelessness, not brain-activity. “Writes internal and external correspondence” means I emailed people. A lot of times those emails didn’t even require thought on my part–virtual paper shuffling. This is mental challenge? Sitting through hours of planning meetings? Bo–ring.
Now that we’ve cleared all of that up. In 2012, my kids will be 6 and 4 years old and Zach will start kindergarten. As I see it, this will be my first true opportunity to go back to work. For us, the thought of paying for two kids to go to “school” (aka daycare) doesn’t make financial sense. I’m never working for free again. But since Zach will be in public school (free! social program! yay!), our cost would just be for Elliot. That’s doable.
I had the following three thoughts in short succession.
Um, 2012 is less than 2 years from now–I need to hurry up and decide what I want to be when I grow up.
OMG, by 2012 there will be a 4 year gap in my employment history. No one’s going to hire me!
What is the best way to sell my current activities as beneficial to a potential employer?
First, I am making an assumption that my 4 year employment gap is better explained by including my SAHM status. After all, the gap isn’t because I couldn’t get a job and that has to be an important point.
But, if the average time a recruiter spends reviewing each resume is 10-20 seconds maybe I’ll skip doing a chronological resume.
Without thinking about it a whole lot, I came up with my first draft of the SAHM Sales Pitch:
Stay at Home Mom
February 2008- Present
Supports the management of a diverse team comprised of varying degrees of difficulty—Small People, Animals, and Adults (domestic and foreign), by acting as a liaison between all involved team members. Specific responsibilities include:
* Coordinates vendor payments, maintains budgets–proactively identifying areas for departmental savings and future financial risk.
* Follows the industry standards listed in Good Hygienic Home Practices (GHHP) and Good Nutrition and Television Practices (GNTP)
* Manages all components (planning, scheduling, preparation and travel) of informal and formal interactions between team members.
* Responsible for the routine inspection of the facilities and arranges/supervises repairs, as needed.
* Directly responsible for the education and behavior of in-training team members.
* Prepares daily progress reports—written and verbal—to co-manager.
* Maintains team website and ensures information is accurate and updated on a regular basis.