I’ve been a stay at home parent for five years. We, that is myself and my Husband, made the decision that I would be at home with our daughter for those early years of her life. I’ve mostly enjoyed them and been glad to so closely watch her grown and learn so much. I know I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do this. Now that she’s in school full time, it’s time for me to get back into working full time. I’m actually pretty excited about this. I might have enjoyed being a stay at home parent but the prospect of returning to a more grown up world and having a stable income is very appealing now. My first step was to update my CV. I’ve not exactly been idle for these years at home. I’ve been studying towards my degree, I’ve done voluntary work and been self employed, which involved a mixture of freelance work and running my own little home business. Thats all valuable stuff on a CV. It means that there’s not some huge gap that I have to explain with ‘Family Commitments’. I really thought that would count for something. One week into my job hunt and it’s not going too badly on the face of it. I’ve been applying for every kind of work on offer. My experience might be mostly office based but I’m not going to limit my search there. I’ve applied in shops, supermarkets and cafés as well. I am not fussy or see myself as too good for any kind of work. I have had one interview so far. The feedback, aside from the ultimate rejection, was fairly positive. I did really well in the group tasks and on the numeracy and accuracy tests. Essentially the issue was that someone else had better experience. While I am so grateful for the feedback (this is one of those times when I’d love to break my anonymity rules and name the company because I’ve genuinely never been through a more pleasant recruitment process) and pleased that the interview wasn’t a disaster, that has to be the most annoying reason for not getting the job I could have been given. I cannot do anything about a lack of experience, except get a job. That’s the vicious circle I now find myself in. But I’ve decided not to let that get me down. As I said, I can’t do much about it that I’m not doing already. So I’ll keep at it. I’ll send CVs off to every company that I might have a chance with, I’ll apply for every job I think I’ve got the skills for and I will try my absolute best to look at the failure from a positive perspective. I guess what I’ve learnt is that I was perhaps a little naive to think that bits and pieces of freelance and voluntary work were going to mean that looking for work would take less than a week. It’s going to take more time and effort. I best get on with it then! Have you returned to work after years at home being a parent? How did you overcome these problems? I’d love any tips you have to offer!