Anyone who had been a full time homemaker knows how we dedicate ourselves, especially our time to take care of our family and making sure our house is in order.
Years seemed to drag on while our babies were growing and our first and only priority is their welfare. There might be times when we get nostalgic about our old job, missing old close friends, our native land and food but with our cheerfulness we counteract such melancholy by keeping ourselves very busy. There will be times that we may feel our brain has been parked somewhere. That is not good for one’s self-esteem – as if after all the hard work as a student to finish a university degree, some may feel that they have regressed when we exchanged our careers for the joys of motherhood.
While we may feel that being a full time homemaker is like a momentary slumber from the rat race, as a mother it is your privilege to be there in every memorable stage in the life of your growing child. During these years, you also have these unique opportunities:
• the liberty to learn and master well the language of your new resident country;
• learn new skills: technology, computer, music, arts, academics or mechanics;
• keep yourself updated on your chosen career by reading, going to exhibitions or attending online classes;
• reinvent yourself and discover hidden talents;
• plan ahead on what would you like to do once your children are in school.
But there may come a time that we would want to continue working again especially when the children goes to school already. Getting back to routine office work can be daunting but the first real challenge would be to find that suitable job again.
While in the process of getting a divorced, I knew that I have to work to give myself and my two girls financial independence. It was not easy and sometimes I needed to take them with me during interviews. But with perseverance, I was able to find a job that does not only allow us to live comfortably but also gave me a sense of fulfillment.
I hope these tips will help mothers who want to revive their careers in a foreign land.
1. Often search of job vacancies from newspaper ads, local unemployment office ads, carefully check the specific requirements of the company
2. Prepare well the curriculum vitae based on the format and style of the company you are applying to;;
3. Include foreign language proficiency level, type of driver’s license, official transcript of records (translated and accredited), job certificates from past employers
4. Develop language skills to a fluency that is required for professional level. Employers can immediately see this by the way you presents an application letter and your resume. Use the language of the company or the employer.
5. Provide proof of accreditation of educational attainment, your specialization, assuring that it adequately reflects your qualifications. Provide reliable references, especially former employers
6. Don’t let job rejections defeat you. Keep trying until you find a good, respectable job. During interviews, conquer them with confidence and vitality, fluent language skills, highlight your strengths and embrace the company’s demands and projects right from the interview
7. Learn how to negotiate with the salary offers without begging too low or asking too high. Be informed of the legal salary scale depending on the position you’re applying and the skills that you have.
Finding a good job goes with proper preparation, very good foreign language proficiency, good timing, resourcefulness, confidence, marketing and convincing negotiating skills during job interview and a little bit of luck.
Ana Angelica van Doorn, also known by her pen name Angelica Hopes, is a Filipina writer and poet. She held several jobs in Switzerland including a piano teacher and flight dispatcher of a private airline company after being a stay-at-home mom for a long time. At that time (2002) she was among the few women working in aviation. Her book Rhythm of a Heart, Music of a Soul can be purchased from Amazon or directly from her website www.angelicahopes.com