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Parents returning to work: how to balance work and family life

Additional Reading

While we usually focus on the actual act of job searching and career advancement in these articles, there are some other issues that can have a big impact on your career and are worth investigating. One such issue is balancing family obligations with those of your career. Raising children is a big job- a full time job in itself. If you have children or are about to, read on for some helpful tips. If your family is taken care of, you’ll be able to focus on your career without worrying about what’s going at home.

Where to leave your children after school

During the day, you know your kids are taken care of at least until 3:00 PM. But after school ends, you’re going to need some kind of daycare that will keep your little ones busy until you get off of work. Here are some ideas to help you jumpstart your back to work plan:

*There are people who can help. If you’re new to a town or community or just don’t know where to go, start with your child’s school. Many public schools offer after school programs for students that will not only keep them busy, but help them with their homework and enrich their overall social and academic skills.
*Network with other parents. Chances are, a lot of your child’s friends and classmates have parents in the same boat as you. Contact them for ideas or try and set up an exchange where the two of you take turns with the children when your schedule allows. Don’t just network with working parents, network with stay-at-home parents as well. Try to work something out with them too because they have even more time than your colleagues who work a 9-5.

Do your homework

If you’re worried that the after school programs won’t keep your child after the designated time, check out all of your possible resources. Parents these days work one, sometimes two jobs and need the support of their community. You might be surprised to know that while most after school programs run until 5:30 or 6:00 PM, several programs offer an extended after school program that lasts until 9:00 or 10:00 PM. Most days you’re probably not going to be anywhere near that late. However, it would be nice to know that if you have a late night at work, your child will be taken care of.

Do it for your children

Whether you’ve got a large family or you’re a single parent with one or two children, holding down a successful career is a great example for your child(ren). The last thing you want to do is the send the message that you can’t have a family if you want to have a career.

Even if you’re a single parent who’s been out of work for a substantial amount of time, you can still make a comeback in your professional life. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t balance a great job with a great family. It may take some getting used to, but you can have the life you want.

About the Author

Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.


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