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From Play-Doh to Real Dough

Bracha Deutsch

Even if your résumé has a fifteen-year “stay-at-home mommy” gap, you can still successfully restart your career. Here, a how-to guide packed with résumé tips, networking strategies, confidence-boosting advice, and more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hadassah Gelman always loved her part-time position as a certified public accountant. But when she was presented with the opportunity to stay home full-time with her children, she grabbed the chance. Five years later, after things quieted down in the house, she found herself wistfully thinking back to her working days.

For Hadassah, deciding to become an employee again turned out to be the easy part — making a career comeback was far more difficult.

“I was older by the time I returned to work, and I found that many companies weren’t interested in hiring me,” she says. “They didn’t want to spend the time retraining me. Since accounting rules and technology are constantly changing, I also felt somewhat lost when I decided to go back full-time, especially since my part-time work had been very specialized.”

What started out as an exciting life decision quickly turned into a confidence-shattering experience. “Public accounting firms looked at my résumé and wanted to know about my recent audit or tax experience, but I didn’t really have any. And firms that were looking for my area of specialization wanted employees who would travel worldwide and/or work six days a week, which I just wasn’t up for,” says Hadassah.

Returning to the workforce can be a daunting task for stay-at-home moms. Whether they’ve been out for two, six, or fifteen years, they’re bound to face technical, professional, and emotional obstacles. But despite the challenges, many mothers have pulled it off and made successful career comebacks. How can you follow their example? Here are some strategies to help you get back in the game, survive possible setbacks — and land your dream job.


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