When it’s back to school time a lot of formerly working moms out there start to consider going back to work. It can be hard as a stay-at-home mom to get back into the workforce once your kids start going to school and you’re ready to get back into work mode. On top of the emotion of watching your little one grow up and start a new stage of life, you have to figure out what the next role will be in your own life. And it may have been a very long time since you last focused on your career.

Now that you are stepping outside of your mom role, it can be challenging to focus on what might fulfill you besides being a mom because you’ve focused on your children for so long, understandably.

Keep in mind as you begin this process that a fulfilling career not only benefits your life, but your family’s as well. It is important not to just take any job just to occupy your time, but find a career that you really enjoy. When you are a happier person, you are more likely to be a better parent. What kind of role model do you want to be for your kids?

Finding fulfillment in your life and career is vitally important, but the process of getting there can be overwhelming. Just remember there are unlimited options out there, and fulfillment can be achieved in so many creative ways especially these days where flex time and working from home are more common than ever before.

To get into the right mindset for figuring out what’s next for your career, you must first let go of solely defining yourself as a mom and rediscover who you are as an individual. Remember the things you did before you had kids; those things that were rewarding for you whether they were career-related or personal. Make a list of those on a piece of paper. Think back to those times and what you were doing at that moment that made it so fulfilling for you. These are possible things you can consider in a next step for a career, or something related to those things.

It’s critical to think creatively here and to believe in yourself. Many women who have been out of the workforce for years doubt their abilities as an employee, or have less confidence in themselves. A gap in your resume does not have to define you for the rest of your career. You can find a career you truly enjoy. As a working mom myself, I know this is possible. It simply takes time and effort. Follow these tips to help you transition from mommy, to a successful working woman.

1. Tap into the hidden job market through your network. Networking is still the best way to get a job. Tell family, friends, former co-workers, etc. that you are looking for a job and give them specifics. They can’t help you unless a) they know you are looking and b) they know what you’re looking for. Be specific with them about what you want. Write an elevator speech to describe as specifically as possible what you bring to the table, and what kind of job you are searching for.

2. Use blogs and social networking sites. If you’ve been out of the job market for a long time, you may not fully understand the importance of online networking and social media in your search. Join online networking groups (like Meetup.com and on LinkedIn.com), especially if there are networking groups specific to your industry. Online networking tools are very important. Social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to network online. LinkedIn is no longer optional in your search. You must create a fully complete LinkedIn profile, including a photo in order to be considered a serious player in your job search. Write on other blogs or start your own. Check out the job postings option on Twitter called TweetMyJobs.com. Many companies like Raytheon and Delta will post job openings via Twitter in real time.

3. Create a schedule. This is an extremely important step because it will keep your mind focused, ensure you stay on task with your goals and give you a consistent sense of accomplishment every day and every week. Make a list of what you want to accomplish daily, weekly and monthly. Set realistic yet also challenging goals for yourself each day and stick to them! If you veer off your schedule one day or one week, don’t beat yourself up, just get back on track.

4. Consider alternative options like part-time work, temporary or contract work to get your foot in the door if necessary. This may be a hard step for you to take, especially if you are taking a position that pays less than you made before but in some situations it can be the key to getting your foot in the door so don’t rule it out completely. On the one hand, you need to get paid what you’re worth. But on the other hand, sometimes you need to compromise on this in order to land an opportunity that will really work for you. So evaluate each option on a case by case basis. Working as a contractor or part time can give you the opportunity to get more work experience, will get you out of the house, boost your morale, and most importantly in a tough economy, it will offer some temporary financial assistance. Temp agencies like momcorps.com are one great place to start to find those more flexible positions that mom’s often desire.

5. Get support. Are you unsure of your ideal career path? Do you need help identifying your values and goals to define what’s most fulfilling to you? Get help from everyone you possibly can, friends, your partner, fellow career seekers and a career professional. A career coach can help you find your ideal career path and make it a reality.

The process of reinventing yourself can take some time. Career transition involves careful planning, and outlining of steps and procedures. Set goals that are realistic yet also a stretch, so that you can step out of your comfort zone and set yourself up for success. Following these simple 5 steps will help you get started.

To help you achieve your career goals, whether you’re a working mother headed back into the workforce or a professional who has career goals you want to achieve before year end, we are offering a $50 off sale on our live coaching programs. Contact us for a complimentary phone consultation.

Author's Bio: 

About Create Your Career Path
Since 2002 Create Your Career Path and their team of certified career coaches have helped job searchers nationwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. New college grads through mid-career professionals have used our career coaches to find their dream job. Create Your Career Path was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford has served on the Board of the Georgia Coach Association, and is regularly featured as a career expert on CNN, Fox Business News, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo HotJobs and Entrepreneur Magazine.