Today’s stay-at-home mom population comes in at approximately five million, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. Some may want to work, but find themselves forced to stay home for fear they can’t find a job that pays enough to support childcare and other costs, states NBC News. Sure you can find creative ways to save money at home — you might dive into extreme couponing or read up on expert advice from personal finance pros like Princess Clark-Wendell about teaching your children how to live within a budget. Still, all too often, the savings just aren’t enough. For women seeking to secure an adequately paying position, it may be worthwhile to invest in optimizing your job search and improving your odds.
Invest in Yourself
Education is the gateway to higher-paying career options, and investing in yourself can open doors to more rewarding jobs. For mothers who want to update skills or broaden their knowledge base, distance learning is opening up new higher-learning opportunities. Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are enabling an increasing number of students to enjoy the equivalent of remotely auditing courses at major universities for free or a reduced fee, according to the Wall Street Journal. Of course, this is not the same as earning a degree, and for those seeking accreditation, for-credit coursework also is increasingly available online.
Bring Your Own Device
To make it easier for you to attend online classes, you might consider investing in a mobile device. Devices can be quite expensive, but are crucial to long-term success.This can also benefit you when you land a job, since by 2017, half of employers will require workers to bring their own devices to work, research firm Gartner predicts. Many employers are already requiring this, which can conceivably put you in the position of getting offered a job where you need a device you don’t have yet.
Build Your Online Presence
A mobile device can also help you take advantage of job-hunting and recruiting apps, such as those recently released by the business networking site LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the primary online tools used by employment recruiters and job seekers, and creating a profile can help you research employers and make contacts.
You can further build your online resume by getting your own domain and setting up a site showcasing your job qualifications. If you’re on a budget, use a free blogging platform. Or, you can invest in a premium site for more flexible design and app options. Use your site to highlight skills and experience, display certifications and portfolios, post testimonials and create content illustrating knowledge an employer might find impressive.
Emily is a blogger and stay at home mom. She’s the only woman she knows who can ride a wheelie.