I mentioned in a post last week that we’d done our application for DorkySon’s reception place. With that task out of the way, I’ve had to turn my attention to the other big thing that I knew this year would bring.
As the start of school will mean that DorkySon will be in someone else’s care for five full days a week, rather than just the three mornings that he currently spends in nursery, the time has come for me to find some kind of gainful employment.
There is a part of me that wishes that weren’t the case. A small part of me would like things to be a stay-at-home mum forever. In return for passing a duster over nearby surfaces every so often, and doing daily battle with the Waitrose grannies for the biggest potatoes and the shiniest apples, I have mainly been able to spend the last three-and-a-bit years eating biscuits, taking naps and blogging in the comfort of my own home.
I don’t doubt for a minute that it’s going to be an incredibly challenging transition; that we will have to re-divide the allocation of household chores, that I will have to re-learn how to dress for the office, and that I will miss my little boy like crazy every single minute that I’m not with him.
But the uniforms and school trips won’t pay for themselves. And, honestly, there is also a part of me that is actually quite excited at the prospect of working again. I actually like to be challenged; to put effort into something and achieve results, and to be rewarded for that with a paycheque at the end of every month.
There’s only one
small bloody enormous problem.
I don’t really know what I’m good at anymore.
That’s not strictly true. I know that I’m good at being a mum – but I only want to be DorkySon’s mum. The thought of entering a profession like teaching and having to wipe the noses and bums of other people’s children fills me with utter horror.
When I was a recent graduate, with plenty of summer jobs, voluntary work, internships and the like under my belt, I found it quite easy to ‘sell’ myself. I knew what my areas of expertise were, and what skills I could bring to a workplace. But when it has been several years since you’ve done anything to demonstrate those skills, and the accepted wisdom in your area of expertise has changed beyond recognition, it is daunting to consider how you get a foot back in the door.
Thinking that the person who spends the most time with me might offer some insight, I asked DorkySon what jobs he thought I’d be good at.
“Well…” he pondered. “You’re good at cooking. And you’re definitely good at doing laundry. But you’re best at putting yellow gloves on and cleaning toilets.”
That wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
Like everything else, I know that the way to approach this is to break it up into achievable tasks. So I’ve done two things this week. I’ve made a start on updating my CV, and I’ve joined LinkedIn.
I do have vague ideas. Ten years ago I wanted to be a journalist, but I’m not convinced that it’s compatible with family life. When I was single and child-free I was happy to work weekends and evenings and unpredictable hours, but these days being a mum and a wife will always come first. So flexibility is key.
I’d like to do something in communications. Something that involves writing. Maybe something for a charity… Not fundraising or events. Maybe campaigning. That’s about as much as I can say right now.
It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Steps three and four will come next week. I need to finalise the CV and work it into a format that is appropriate for 2013 (last time I applied for a job was in 2006). And I need to spend a morning signing up for job alerts on every relevant website. Guardian Jobs. Charity Jobs. Goodmoves. Environment Job.
(Which ones am I missing…?)
If you’d like to offer me a job, please feel free to drop me an email. Otherwise, all hints, tips, and good luck wishes are very welcome. I will let you know how it goes.