Transitioning back to work

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Transitioning back to work
Sat, 04-26-2008 - 12:25pm
I'm not sure if this topic belongs here - so feel free to ignore or redirect me. I was on another board and the topic of what should the Stay-at-Homes years count for when you transition back to the work world. Does staying at home allow you to develop new skills or do you just go right back to entry-level? Does this subject come up here once in a while? My quick review of recent threads didn't come up with anything.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 04-26-2008 - 9:40pm

>>It has come up, just not recently. And the answer is "it all depends". <<

I guess that makes sense.

Here is a link to an article that is sort of related to what I was asking, in case anyone's interested:

May 02, 2007 Now Hiring: Making Yourself a Marketable Mom

>>A leading provider of on-demand compensation management solutions, today announced the results of its 7th annual Mom Salary Survey for working and stay-at-home moms. If paid the salary of the equivalent jobs mom performs, stay-at-home moms would earn $138,095 and working moms would earn $85,939 per year. At some point, many stay-at-home moms will seek to re-enter the workforce. This year,’s survey also highlights those skills moms have honed that employers value and provides tips to help moms make their stay-at-home time attractive to prospective employers—defining the “Marketable Mom.”

“When a mom decides to return to work, she often experiences a crisis in confidence and is overwhelmed by how much time has passed since her last job,” said Meredith Hanrahan, chief marketing officer at “Many mothers think their skills aren’t transferable or that the work world has passed them by. They’re not alone. Many capable, educated, stay-at-home caregivers share this doubt about going back to work. In fact, it is similar to the self doubt employed people experience when negotiating a raise.”

“The first step is to acknowledge it and then get it out of your head,” recommends Hanrahan. “Don’t let doubt discourage you from getting back in the game. Change the paradigm and start thinking of yourself as possessing many marketable skills that employers seek.”

Generally, moms expand their qualifications for a job through raising children. In their time away from paying work, mothers have developed transferable skills such as mature decision-making, multi-tasking, organization, project management, patience, conflict resolution and the ability to align various people with different agendas to complete a task.

The proof is in the hiring. found that over 95 percent of employers do hire former stay-at-home moms and over 80 percent are actively recruiting moms re-entering the workforce. As the available talent pool shrinks, employers are finding increasing value in the transferable skills mothers can bring to the workforce.

In the survey, employers cited the following as the skills they value most in moms returning to work:

Skills Employers Believe Mother's Excel At
Multi-Tasking Capabilities 58.8 percent
Compassion/Empathy 48.5 percent
Dependability 44.3 percent
Work Ethic 39.2 percent
Relevant Life Experience 36.1 percent
Management and People Skills 24.7 percent

“Mom skills will become more desirable in the workplace and moms’ employment opportunities will become more abundant as companies seek to capture talent from outside the traditional channels,” adds Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation at

“Mothers are not only talented; they’re experienced managers, motivators, decision makers and client specialists after spending time in both the workforce and as a mother.” <<

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2005
Sat, 04-26-2008 - 10:26pm

I am a Registered Nurse - if I quit my job right now for a couple of years it would not really hurt me much.


Avatar for myshkamouse
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 12:12am

SAH doesnt "count" toward work. The number of years you are out of the work force, slowly diminish the level you re enter the work force. There are absolutely exceptions to the "rule."

Personally I SAH with my twins till they were 14 months. There was no dillution in my value in the work place in that period of time. None. In my experience (and I recruit CEO's; other top executives and investment pros) more than a year or so starts to impace. A year or so (+/-) is of little impact if you have an established track record.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 6:08am

>>SAH doesnt "count" toward work. <<

Do you think it should?

A little hyperbole - if the work involved in staying at home doesn't "count", if most of the growth that happens is due to maturing, then would you say the time spent at home is only as monetarily valuable to an employer, as say, a young adult who scrapes by getting hours painting houses or delivering pizza and "hanging out" most nights?

Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 8:51am

What you're not gettinga bout this article is that the workign moms would be paid the $85K ON TOP OF the salaries they're already other words... we do all the stuff sah moms do but we do it in addition to working at other jobs.

but between you and me I've never put much stock in the this is what you'd be worth if you did this or that b/c we're all different... i could care less about cleaning my house so does that mean I get 'docked' ? know what I'm saying?

to get back to your original question thoug I think the answer is-- it depends on your career and a whole host of other factors. Can it be done? sure. but with varying degress of success depending on what career you're trying to re-enter.

"If gay Americans are not allowed to get married and have all the benefits that American citizens are entitled to by the Bill of Rights, they should get one hell of a tax break. That is my opinion,"

- Jeane "Dear Abby" Phillips, in an interview with Lisa Leff.


Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 9:09am

>>we do all the stuff sah moms do but we do it in addition to working at other jobs.<<

Well, not necessarily do, so much as hire out. Somebody's gotta be with the kids.

>>i could care less about cleaning my house<<

We have something in common! Housecleaning tasks are not at all what I mean.

Regardless of whether you WOH or SAH, you still develop all the skills mentioned in the article. I know this is really a debate board between the two, but what I'm asking is: do you really see the managing of a family as a skill-less task? Do you view is as less than being a housekeeper or a nanny (both of those at least get paid)?

Do we as SAH or WOH or single or as women or as a society undervalue the work involved in raising a family?

I know many people who view their jobs as a vacation from the intensity of being home. Doesn't that say something?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 10:20am

What type of job were you hoping to re-enter, and how do you feel that skills gained from SAH are relevant to that position?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 10:37am
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 10:40am

>>there are mothers gaining those same "mother" skills without leaving the workforce, so there is no reason to think that leaving the workforce would give one an advantage over those mothers<<

I never made any presumption that mothering skills were exclusive to SAHMs. I said just the opposite.

I'm surprised that as an attorney you haven't found the experience of parenting beneficial to your job. That's definitely one job where I would have thought otherwise. Computer technician OTOH, probably not so much.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Sun, 04-27-2008 - 11:06am