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Mommy Tips: How to Stay Positive During the Job Search
bySarah CollinsDec 17, 2014
It's difficult for anyone to be unemployed. Being a mommy, however, means the pressure intensifies to find a job that not only work for your schedule but also pays the bills. Do your best to stay positive during a long, grueling job search, as an upbeat outlook will make finding that elusive-yet-perfect job even sweeter.
When it comes to job-hunting, there's not much you can actually control. However, you can control your diligence in applying for jobs, following through with contacts and your overall attitude in the process. "You can control what you do every day and every week," says New York City-based executive coach Alisa Cohn. "Set small goals for you that you achieve daily, weekly or monthly to help you feel successful." For example, she says, have lunch or coffee with a networking contact three out of five days of the week. "When you hit that target, remind yourself that you achieved your goals for the week," she says.
Continue to Network
Just because you're not working doesn't mean you don't have a network that can help you. Reach out to women in your mommy group, parents at your child's school and former classmates or colleagues and let them know you're searching for a job. Simply getting out of the house to meet your colleagues for a coffee, lunch or drink can also boost your spirits. Cohn suggests asking some career-minded friends to be a "Peer Advisory Board," so you have a group to ask career advice and glean networking tips. "They can provide helpful, genuine feedback and advice so that you don't feel so alone during what can be a frustrating process," she says. Just remember, networking isn't about promoting yourself aggressively; it's about building relationships. Use these folks as support and for feedback or advice, but not as a means to an end.
Take Time Off
Searching for a job can feel like a full-time position in and of itself. Janet Zinn, a licensed clinical social worker in New York City, says to find time to do something that you enjoy even if it's just listening to good music or an interesting audio book on the way to an interview. Take one day fully off per month from job searching and do something fun. "You need to stay fresh and keep focused on what is truly important," says Michelle Comer of Chicago-based staffing group, Messina Group, Inc. Practice relaxation techniques, get regular exercise and -- though difficult as a mommy -- try to get plenty of sleep.
Depending on their ages, your kids might recognize more about your job search and accompanying attitude than you think. Be honest with them, suggests HelpGuide.org. Let them know how your employment situation affects the family, but don't overburden them with that knowledge. When you feel overly preoccupied with the job search, close the computer and put down your phone. Go outside and spend some time playing with your kids. Not only will it help you refocus on what's important and give you a breather, it will help keep your children's spirits lifted, too.