With Australian women having babies later in life, they are also returning to work at an older age. And that may mean starting all over at 40-plus in the job-seeking market.
“It is daunting,” says Jacqueline Smart Ferguson, who recently facilitated the Brisbane Reinventing Yourself After Children Workshop.
“Many women in their late thirties and forties are well advanced in their careers where long hours and bringing work home is the norm. A pace difficult to maintain while raising a young family,” says Jacqueline.
“Negotiating hours around school pick-up is great with an accommodating boss, but others may need to reinvent themselves professionally to work more child-friendly hours.”
The workshop brainstormed ideas on how to transfer current skills across industries through to working from home.
Volunteer to close the gap
“Did you balance the books as the soccer treasurer, comply to OH-and-S principles on canteen duty or design a newsletter?” Jacqueline asks, as volunteering is another way of reducing the gap on a resume.
“These are all roles that show you have kept your skills honed,” she says.
Staying relevant is the key
Attending short courses and keeping an up to date online resume or profile are among tips to showing new employers or clients you have kept up-to-date.
“Staying relevant is the key, and don’t see maternity leave as a negative career experience,” explained Business Lecturer Anastastia Yeark.
“Sell that you are now better organised, can manage several projects on the go and easily adapt to change.”
The workshop was supported by the Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund, Jamboree Ward Councillor and the Rotary Club of Sumner Park.