You’ve been staying at home with your children, working the toughest job for the most difficult bosses.  But now your children are older, or perhaps your family could use the money, and it’s time to head out into the workforce.  If it’s been a long time, it may seem like a rather scary proposition.  With a few tips and a little motivation, you’re sure to land that new job successfully.

What Do You Want?  You know that you’re interested in landing a job, but what exactly are you looking for in that job?  Are you concerned about a big pay cheque, or would you prefer to have flexible hours?  Is there a certain shift that would work best for you and your family?  Knowing what you want is a big step in finding that new position.

Brush Up on Skills.  Take a look at job openings in the fields in which you’re interested and see how your own skill sets match up.  If you aren’t quite up to speed on specific software programs or other computer skills, check with a community college for classes.  Many of these are offered in the evenings, and some are even free.

Boost Your Resume.  You’ve been very busy while you’ve been raising the kids, but have you been doing anything you can put on a resume?  Volunteer work for the school or other charities counts and can provide you with a little extra something to add to your job experience.  Did you build a website for the local farmers market or take pictures for the school basketball team?  Use these experiences and focus on the professional skills you had to use in order to do them.  As you get ready for your career search, you should also consider doing some pro bono work in the area(s) you’re interested in.

Use Your Network.  Let your friends and family know you’re on the market.  Someone may know of a job opening that appeals to you or be able to put in a good word.  Consider joining a professional organization, attending some MeetUps or checking with your alma mater for career services.

Be patient.  You don’t have to settle for a job that doesn’t suit your schedule or is too far below your skill level just because you’ve been staying at home.  While you may have to take a less-than-perfect position in order to get the kind of flexibility you want, take the time to find the best job for your needs.

Remember that looking for a new job is a little daunting for everyone, even if you’re already out in the work force.  Everyone is going to be nervous before an interview or worry about whether or not they will actually land the position.  Think about what you truly need out of a job, and take the time to find it.  Use the connections you have available to you, and spruce up your resume to make it look as good as it can be.  Good luck!