Mind the Gap
Worried about how future employers will view your CV gap while taking time out to look after your children?
Over the next 12 months we will build up a list of 60 things parents can do to fill their CV while on a career gap?
Issue 5: Here are 5 things to be mindful of on a career break by Celia Malins, Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, MBACP, Ba Hons. www.celiamalins.com @celiamalins facebook.com/celiamalinscounselling
25 – Learn to live in the moment: In the age of information and technology we can start living in our heads too much. Learn to be more mindful, take up a mindfulness course, to support you to appreciate the moment you are actually in without getting caught up in the parental pressures of school, achievement, careers, money etc.
Kingston College do a great evening class which supports you to appreciate the moment you are in. Very helpful for when you do go back to work and need to juggle more things! https://kingston-college.ac.uk/subject/counselling/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-course
24 – Career breaks may not always be times of reduced stress. The pressure of thinking you need to make use of that time productively could negatively impact your experience of day to day life by preventing you from living in the moment.
Put aside a set amount of time to think about/focus on your future career options once a week/once a day (whatever works for you). This frees you up to focus fully on the moment you are actually in when you are in it and lets you enjoy the break.
23 – Just because you are on a career break does not mean you have 60 extra hours in the week. The temptation to overcommit because you are no longer working can be powerful.
Take time to explore and experience balance – otherwise you might find yourself just as time-poor and compromised as before. Explore health, nutrition and lifestyle choices that can support you to live your life more fully. A great website is www.mindbodygreen.com
22 – So often we are told to ‘pamper yourself’ for wellbeing. However, encouraging your creativity instead of having a massage could offer more long term emotional benefits. If you are a happy, nourished mum, you create happier more nourished children.
Start a choir with some friends, spend time in your garden, learn a new craft or start a dance class – whatever ticks the box for you. Check- out this local venue for craft activities and ideas https://www.facebook.com/museumoffutures.
21 – Swap that time spent at work for time spent in your community. Money and status does not create happiness. Research* shows that those involved in social community (not just family life) are happier than those without social relationships. Being and feeling part of a wider community is a fundamental human need and linked to human well-being.
*Haller, Max og Hadler, Markus. 2006. “How Social Relations and Structures Can Produce Happiness and Unhappiness: An International Comparative Analysis”, Social Indicators Research, Vol. 2, s. 169-216.
Celia Malins, Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, MBACP, Ba Hons.
Issue 4: by Sarah Nendick
20. Volunteer – either for school PTA, local charities, community events. Helps you with transferable skills, plugs a CV gap and may give you useful contacts too.
19. Look for opportunities to fill gaps in your CV – is your Excel knowledge limited, is there a first aid or health and safety certificate you could gain, would learning another language be useful. There are a lot of evening or school time short courses available.
18. Keep your eyes open. Perhaps you have yet to come across the career or business opportunity you will eventually follow. Sometimes just being mindful of issues you face as a mum may be the germ of a business idea.
17. Don’t put down your current role as “just a mum” – you are CEO of your family and use many organisational, management and financial skills daily.
16. If you’ve taken a career break to be with your family, enjoy your time with them. Make sure you go along to as many school assemblies, swimming galas or rugby matches as you can. They grow up far too soon, and before long, having mum or dad coming along will be socially embarrassing for them!
ISSUE 3: by Amanda Baker, Multiple Minds
15. Complete an online learning course to increase your skills and explore new topics – there are plenty of sites such as this one Udemy.
14. If you are thinking of changing careers, then find people who do that job in your local area and give them a call or meet up so you can find out what it’s really like to work in that field before committing to the expense (time and cost) of retraining.
13. If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile so you can keep in contact with past colleagues and experts in your field.
12. Keep up to date on interesting topics and network with interesting people by attending talks hosted by organisations such as the British Library, the Royal Institution and most Universities offer public lecturers.
11. Improve your wellbeing, energy levels and meet new people by joining a local sports club.
ISSUE 2: by Muriel McClymont, Lumier Coaching
10. Create an achievements file, then update it with everything you can think of that you have ever done that you are proud of or have received positive feedback for. Use your own notes, photos or Continue to add to it with whatever you are currently doing. It is so easy to feel unskilled during a career gap, it’s great to have an achievements file you can browse through in moments of doubt.
9. Work out what you really enjoy doing and set aside time to do it. Regardless of whether it is work related or not, if you get involved in clubs or activities doing something you love, you will be making useful contacts, learning more and having fun.
8. If you have a business idea, use your network to barter your skills in exchange for help from others. For example, say you have financial know how, or make great muffins, you could strike a deal to exchange that with someone who can write good copy for your website, or help you layout an attractive mailer.
7. What are you the ‘go to’ person for in your circle of family or friends? Is this something that you could potentially make money doing for other people?
6. Make a list of all those things you always said you would do if you had the time, put a line through the ones you have no intention of ever actually doing, and start working through the rest. You never know where this may lead.
ISSUE 1: by Paula Neal
5. Join the school PSA or PTA – gain new friends and pride in helping your school fund raise
3. Learn something new – investigate local adult education evening courses and build up new skills and knowledge
2. Volunteer your time within the local community see Do It or help an elderly neighbour with their garden. You’ll learn about gardening & they will enjoy your company!
1. Retrain and become a social media manager with help from Digital Mums and work for yourself, when you want.
We are collecting ideas from multiple places and we would love your ideas to include in the list – if your ideas gets selected we will acknowledge your contribution. Join us in helping inspire other parents!
Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org