Our youngest offspring was in the final year of high school when this variation of a childhood question came to mind. It did not elicit the same excited response that it had when I was a child! After 27 years teaching my children at the kitchen table, I would no longer fit into teaching a traditional elementary school classroom. But what could I be in my second career? And how would I qualify for it? I had not pursued further formal education during my years at home. You may also wish to return to the workforce after a prolonged absence. Here are steps I took when the time came to seek employment.
The Teacher Teaches . . . The Teacher?
Among other things, a homeschool mom functions as a guidance counselor. When deciding her own course of action toward entering the job market, she should review the advice she gave her children. If it worked for them, it should work for her.
I taught our children Biblical values and encouraged them to use the talents that God gave them. These included “thinking outside of the box” whenever necessary. Homeschool families often do this when adapting curricula and resources to fit unique circumstances and learning styles. These traits can also help an older adult reenter the workforce. How does one “think outside the box” when finding how and where to use their talents?
Be Unsocial No Longer!
We have all heard the jokes about “unsocialized” homeschoolers, but now is not the time to be one!
Step One is to pray for God to lead in the way you should go. Ask others to pray also. Do not underestimate the importance of this! The principles found in Proverbs 22:6 and Psalm 119:105 help the Christian woman choose a course of action during the job-seeking process.
Step Two is to compose a resume. Think about what you have done in your life. Did you learn new skills through the homeschooling years that may prove useful in a new job?
- Have you taken adult education courses? Audited classes? Learned a hobby? Done freelance work? Volunteered? Joined societies? Organized events? Had part-time employment? Maintained a blog? Led Bible or book studies? Been a club officer? Participated in mission outreach?
- Ask a trusted friend to help you identify your strengths. It helps to see yourself through others’ eyes.
- Organize your accomplishments into categories.
- Type your resume in a word processing program. These usually supply templates. Hire someone to help you if you must. Your resume is as unique as you are, and it is usually necessary to supply one during the application process. Make it look professional.
Step Three is to network.
- Are any of your acquaintances business owners? If not, do they know someone who is? Would your friends supply you a recommendation? Do not be shy when spreading the word that you are seeking employment. Jobs can be located via networking, and a homeschool community can be a valuable resource for making connections.
Step Four is to decide what your household allows and what your needs require.
- Should you work full-time? Part-time? Seasonally? Consider your physical, mental, and spiritual health as well as those of your family members. Money is not the only consideration.
- If you find work, does the company allow you to change positions within? Current employees might know when positions are available before the public does.
This is the advice we gave our children and that I used when seeking employment. In my years in my job, I have met several former homeschool moms who are assets to the work environments! It is because that while they were training and educating their children they were also training and educating themselves. Adaptable people make valuable employees.