Getting Back in the Game (Businessweek) Some important suggestions to ease the reentry of older women into the executive world
The Crisis of the Wait-at-Home Mom (Philadephia Magazine) The first generation of Philly women who “opted out” in order to stay home with their kids is now ready for what’s next. Trouble is, opting back in can be pretty scary
Advancing Women is an on-line resource hub that provides women with unparalleled access to networks, training, tools, mentors and personalised advice to assist them manage their lives, their work and their careers.
Find out if you are eligible to receive help from Job Services Australia and how you can register to receive employment help.
Mothers Returning to Work Grant - Mothers can seek and apply for government grant programs in Melbourne and the rest of Australia, if they need help in returning to their work or to get employment opportunities. The Australian government has initialized specific grant programs for single mothers and other women, who want financial assistance to enrol or pay for training courses, programs etc. that will hone their skills and help them to get job opportunities. These grants are available only for eligible women though. Call 1800 198 794 or go directly to the website.
The ways2work website is part of the Victorian Government's commitment to helping employees and employers manage work and family life.
Understanding Money - The Financial Literacy Foundation was established by the Australian Government to give all Australians the opportunity to increase their financial knowledge and better manage their money. Put yourself in charge of budgeting, saving, investing, controlling your debts, superannuation and more. View their free information sheets for women wanting to build their money skills.
Are you receiving the Australian Government's Child Care Tax Rebate of 50% for your out-of-pocket child care costs? This is not income tested. You should also find out if you are eligible for other child care assistance. Visit mychild.gov.au to find out more.
Childcare Information The mychild.gov.au site is a Government initiative about children, with the main focus being on early childhood learning and child care. You will also find helpful links to other information for families in this site.
The Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care provides comprehensive fact sheets that highlight the range of Australian Government services and programs available to families using child care. The fact sheets include information on Child Care Benefit, Child Care Tax Rebate, Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care fee assistance, Child Care Support program; and Child Care Access Hotline.
The Centrelink website provides useful information about the child care benefit and the child care tax rebate.
School Holidays While we all look forward to the break from the school routine, the school holidays can be fraught with stress in finding suitable options for childcare. To help you plan your return to work find out all the dates of school holidays, school term and public holidays in your state and territory in Australia.
There are likely to be before and after school care and school holidays programs in your local area, many of these will be approved child care services which means that you may be eligible for Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate. Start by looking in the school newsletter, this is often where holiday programs are advertised. Some schools may actually have school run holiday programs on site. Contact your local Council for a list of school and holiday activities, check out the local paper and extra-curricular activities that run holiday programs (these may be sport, art, drama - even the Melbourne Zoo has a holiday program).
Useful links for planing childcare: Care for Kids resource: Search for before and after school care in your area YMCA: Look for care options for school age children in your are mychild.gov.au - Find out about outside school hours care in your area
Be realistic and know what you are looking for Be realistic about how many hours you are willing to work. Work out how many hours a week you want to work, part-time or full-time. A full time position is 1.0 FTE (full-time equivalent), whereas a part-time position that is 2.5 days week is referred to as .5 FTE.
Identify the type of job you are looking for. Are you planning on working in a similar job that you had prior to having children. Have your priorities shifted, do you a less stressful work environment, shorter hours, no travel requirements? Is this an opportunity for a change in direction? When you are looking for a job, think about what you really want to do and go for it. Make sure that your skills set is relevant to the job you are applying for.Be selective and apply for jobs that you are both interested in and have the relevant skills for.
Consider further training Depending on when you were last in the workforce it may mean you need to do a short course to get you up to date. Keep a look out for courses available through your local council, local library and other community organisations. If you volunteer there may be opportunities to undertake further training as part of your volunteer role.
You can also research other training/further study options at:
If you are registered with Centrelink, you can be referred to a Job Network Agency that specialises in assisting women to return to the workplace www.centrelink.gov.au
Update your resume How's your resume looking? Before you start looking for a job you need to update your resume. Your resume is your very own sales document, it has to be tailored specifically to the role. Make sure it is well formatted, easy to read, include any volunteer work, part-time or casual jobs that you have undertaken during your time off in the workforce. Many mums are daunted by the prospect of writing a resume so seek support (Check out our resume package) or get some assistance from a friend whose advice you trust.
Sort out your wardrobe Update your wardrobe, pamper yourself and have a haircut. Sorting through your work clothes can be a daunting task - especially if you have changed shape since you last wore them. If you haven't 'suited up' for a while, spend some time thinking about what you need in your wardrobe. If you hit the shops, take a friend and go for those classic pieces that are less likely to date, even a new scarf can make all the difference. Dressing to impress for a job interview can give you so much confidence in yourself. Job boards Bookmark useful websites that have a focus on part-time positions. Make sure you set up your profile and use a variety of key words in your job searching. Part time Online Work at Home Mums Seek Career One My Career Job Seeker - Australia's community jobs online
Recruitment firms Below are some recruitment firms that specialise in placing flexible jobs.
Network Join a relevant industry association or professional group, start attending functions to network and understand current issues. Listing your membership of relevant professional associations on your resume indicates to an employer that you are committed to the professional and you have an interest in your lifelong learning.
Never underestimate the worth of those around you. Let family, friends, and your Mothers Group know that you are looking for a job. You never know where a job lead may come from.
DEEWR Work-Life Balance Awards - View the winners announced for 2009-10. These Awards recognise businesses, government and community organisations that are leading the way in delivering policies, practices and initiatives that help people balance their work and family commitments. View case studies, resources, award categories, and how your business can benefit.
Accredited Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces -http://www.breastfeedingfriendly.com.au/ - A list of accredited workplaces can be viewed on the website as well as information for mothers and employers about breastfeeding and paid work. An initiative of the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Women on Boards - Women on Boards is the leading online network for women seeking leadership roles. It promotes diversity on boards in the not-for-profit, private, government and public sectors.
Volunteering Australia - Find out about volunteering opportunities near you. Gain experience and contacts to help you get back to paid work.
Parenting Websites Huggies - www.huggies.com.au - lots of information on pregnancy, parenting, fun and learning activities, special offers and much more.
Kidspot.com.auhttp://www.kidspot.com.au - A resource for parents and children to find hundreds of extra curricular activities for kids.
MumZone - www.mumzone.com.au - An interactive parenting and pregnancy website full of useful and practical resources, ideas, tips, articles, reviews, baby names and more.
Parenthood - parenthood.com.au - A comprehensive information site for women who are trying to conceive or already pregnant, and mothers with young babies.
Parent Wellbeing - www.parentwellbeing.com - Parent Wellbeing helps parents improve their quality of life. Parent Wellbeing does not tell parents how to care for their children. Instead, they help parents care for themselves so they are better able to care for their children.
Single Mum - singlemum.com.au - Australia's single mother information website for separated, divorced, ex-defacto, pregnant and solo mums offering exclusive single mother articles, help directories, product reviews, media call-outs and much more.
Single Mother Forum - www.singlemotherforum.com - Australian single mothers supporting single mothers - Australia's only dedicated single mother community forum, with a huge membership of welcoming and supportive single mums actively taking part in thousands of relevant single mum topics and discussions. Know your rights National Employment Standards - Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Julia Gillard released the new National Employment Standards, a key element in the Government’s plan for Australian workplace relations. Read the section on flexible work arrangements.
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) -www.humanrights.gov.au - ph: (02) 9284 9600 | General enquiries and publications: 1300 369 711
Australian Government Workplace Ombudsman - Protecting your workplace rights - www.wo.gov.au
Maternity at Work - The Office of Industrial Relations has compiled everything you need to know about your obligations and entitlements when it comes to maternity leave.
Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA)http://www.eowa.gov.au/ - EOWA's role is to administer the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act and through education, assist organisations to achieve equal opportunity for women.