Most stay-at-home moms I know come to a point in their lives where they need something outside the house. Since many moms feel like they have already achieved the stressful part of a normal career by staying home and tending drama stricken preteens, they might want that extra outside-the-house job to be a fun, no brainer. Sure, if you have a degree you can put it to work. But some people don't want that. Some people just want to blow off a little mom-steam by selling fabric at Hobby Lobby. And that's OK.
Plus, with the current financial state of the country, extra money is a necessity rather than a luxury for many military families.
Enter The Mom Job (not to be confused with plastic surgery for moms, which is what popped up when I searched the words on the internet). The Mom Job is a job that fits your schedule. It is not meant to be a career move. It offers you distraction, extra income and a little fun.
Sounds pretty good, huh? So how do you get such a gig?
Here are a bunch of do's and one don't for finding a Mom Job, learned by me first-hand and also from eavesdropping conversations:
Do: Update your resume. Those volunteer hours supervising Girl Scout cookie sales or hot gluing monkeys onto book fair posters? Those count. Just make it sound fancy, like Marketing Co-Chair for Elementary Book Sales or Baked Goods Lead Sales Manager. Also, if your last resume is saved on a 3 ½ inch disc, it is time to quit wearing mom jeans and reinvent yourself on paper. Today. Like, now. Even if you aren't looking for a job.
Do: Know your strengths. If you hate home parties, don’t think you can convincingly push crystal figurines of unicorns and Mary. Likewise, if your idea of getting ready for a date is lip balm and clear mascara, beauty sales should not be your job. Because you’d suck at it. However, if you love to organize, then ask that home sales consultant if they need someone to assist with stock and orders. If you can’t stand any kids but your own, then do yourself (and the kids) a favor and stay away from employment at toy stores, schools, and churches.
Do: Know your availability. Do not think for one minute that the retail store where you want a discount will hire you to work under ten hours a week. If you love having the flexibility to attend and bake allergy-free cupcakes for the bajillion class parties at your kid(s) school, or enjoy volunteering for every opportunity that comes your way, then you need at-will employment. Think home sales consultant, substitute teaching, or even seasonal employment.
Do: Dress correctly. I’m sure that rhinestoney outfit that also makes your butt look yummy might have cost a lot and you get tons of compliments on your platform hooker heels, but they have a place on interview or even application day -- and that is in your closet. Well, unless you are applying for a job at a teen store in the mall or for a different kind of at-will employment, if you get my drift. Potential employers would much rather have you looking slightly out of date then appearing as if you are looking for a date. First impressions, people!!! No cleavage, no visible panty lines, and no stained anything. Do the best you can and it will show that you put forth an effort to look presentable.
Do: Be realistic. If you do not have the knowledge/experience required for certain jobs, then start out smaller. You can’t expect to be a vet tech solely on the fact you had kitten posters plastered all over your room as a girl. However, you could begin in the office or kennels to figure out if you want to take the job a step further at that point.
Do: Know what you are worth. ... And the costs associated with your mom job such as clothes, gas, food, and childcare costs. Retail clothing stores often have plans in place for you to purchase, thusly, model their clothes and often is a requirement. But beware … that extra money you want to earn could end up right back where it came from: the store register. I almost took a Mom Job that would have cost me more in babysitting fees during the summer months than what I would have earned. Where is the sense in that? Also, if you have certifications or qualifications that could increase the proposed salary, then speak up! Some companies know you have benefits due to the military, so ask if you can get anything in return for that savings.
Don’t volunteer information. Potential employers should be able to put two-and-two together and sum up that you are somehow affiliated with the military. If it isn’t from your five past addresses spanning the globe, then the big clue would be Tricare as insurance or when they read your spouse's employer spot on the application. If they ask, then do not lie, but do not sit down and volunteer that information right from the start. They’ll get it, eventually. And should not punish you for it.
Do: Use available resources. You know all those job fairs centered on spouses? Go. You might learn something, you might not, but at least you are utilizing a service put together specifically for people like us to find out what is out there and who is hiring. Shameless plug alert: SpouseBuzz and many other military spouse events have people in place to answer questions for you as well.
Do: Know your expectations. Stress and crappy bosses are for real jobs. Unless you are thinking of turning your Mom Job into a career, don’t take the work home with you or be bullied. You shouldn’t be stressed or treated poorly at a Mom Job, because a Mom Job is supposed to fill time and earn money. Know you might not get benefits, you might not be eligible for promotions and you might not be employee of the month. Then again, you might and the Mom Job might be the door to your future.
It can be a challenge to find work, especially if you live in an area where jobs are hard to come by and you don't have an option of where you work, who you work for, or how what you get paid when you need, need, need a job financially.
What have you learned/heard that could help someone find a job in those situations???
Heidi has been and is currently employed with her Mom Job of choice so she can attend a bajillion class parties, volunteer with whatever floats her boat, and help their checking account.