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Level Up: How to Find a New Job When You’re Crunched for Time
It's all about efficiency.
The labor market may be cooling, but it’s still hot enough to make job searching easier than ever for many workers. That is, unless you’re an exhausted working parent. Who has time to draft compelling cover letters when your email inbox is overflowing and the sink is stacked with dishes?
There have always been hurdles that make it harder for parents, and especially moms, to find jobs. Maternal bias—the notion that mothers are less competent and committed to their careers—is still very real. In one famous study, researchers asked undergraduates at Cornell to evaluate two fictional candidates for a position as a marketing director for a start-up communications company. The two resumes were functionally equivalent, but one showed that the candidate was an officer in a parent-teacher association. The students were almost twice as likely to prefer the candidate without kids.
One of the rare silver linings of the pandemic is that it seems to have blunted the impact of this bias. In a labor market that favors workers—there are more than 10 million open jobs right now—employers who discriminate against caregivers will find themselves perpetually short-staffed. Accordingly, moms have had more power to dictate the terms of their employment. If an employer isn’t willing to offer remote work or a higher salary, talented workers can simply seek another who will. This is likely a big reason why women have recovered all of our pandemic-related job losses.
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But bias isn’t the only hurdle for working moms when it comes to job seeking. Another big one is simply finding the time and energy to manage the process. For parents, it’s not as easy as simply uploading a resume. We need to make sure prospective employers have a family-friendly culture with benefits to match, and that takes research. We need to network, but it’s a difficult task when happy hour coincides with after-school pick-up.
That’s why we tapped the experts at Indeed for advice. If you want to land a new position but don’t want to sacrifice time with your kids (or jeopardize your current job), efficiency is the name of the game. Here’s how to streamline your search and find the just-right role for you:
The Fix: 4 Ways to Make Your Job Search More Efficient
The world doesn’t stop turning just because you’re on the hunt for a new role. Balancing your ongoing responsibilities and maintaining motivation while you’re applying for new jobs can be a real challenge. Thankfully, there are ways to fine-tune your search process and save you precious time. Here are some tips and tricks:
Reflect on your skills and interests.
Take time to reflect on what excites you in a potential role. Writing out your skills and interests can help you visualize certain themes and allow you to better understand what roles you might enjoy most. Perhaps your list of skills are mostly communications-focused, such as leading teams, working with clients to help them achieve their goals, and superb written communication, but your interests are more creative, like graphic design and video-editing. You might consider roles and industries that could join these two, such as a client-facing role with an advertising agency or as a PR professional at a music label.
Build a core resume that’s tailored to your job search.
While customizing your resume for every job you apply to is ideal, it’s not always realistic when job searching. Consider creating a core resume that’s tailored to your overall job search, highlighting the skills and experience that most employers require for the kind of role you want. Review the job descriptions for the roles you are interested in, looking for the common responsibilities and skills between them. Then, mirror the language they use in your resume, aligning them to your experience and skill set.
Set weekly application goals.
Set attainable goals as you conduct your job search. This will help you stay consistent while managing other responsibilities, whether that’s your current job, maintaining a household, or taking care of yourself. For example, if you’re aiming to apply to a number of creative roles each week, take into consideration the amount of time you’re realistically able to dedicate to applying. Maybe you have 10 free hours this week and the following week you have five hours because your family is going to be in town. Keep track of the jobs you’re applying to in a spreadsheet.
Utilize your network.
Reaching out to your network is a powerful though underutilized tool in the job search process, with approximately two-thirds of companies using referrals to find applicants. If you know someone who works at the company to which you are applying, it doesn’t hurt to ask them for an internal referral (and for an inside scoop on the company itself). While it may seem a bit daunting to ask for a referral, most people are happy to help out and put in a good word.
INTRODUCING OUR NEW WORK-LIFE WALLET!
Stop wasting money. Redirect cash from ineffective EAP programs and directly empower your employees to meet their unique work-life needs. With Mother Honestly’s NEW work-life wallet, employees can access support for an array of work-life needs, including child care, elder care, pet care, self care, household chores and more. Employees link their debit card or bank account, and we screen and qualify work-life related expenses for reimbursement within seconds. Learn how your company can support caregivers with our Work-Life Wallet!
ATTEND OUR SUMMIT:
Women are a crucial component of building a better future—but working families aren't getting the support they need at home or at work. At our summit, we will identify what women and working families need from partners, employers and society at large—and examine the innovative solutions that are giving us hope.
Join us November 4th to hear from some of the influential women who are crafting a more sustainable future for caregivers, including Adeline Azrack of the Chanel Foundation. Tickets are now available!
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Kanika Chadda Gupta is a CNN television anchor turned podcaster and mom of three (including twins). She hosts the popular podcast That's Total Mom Sense and spin-off series What Matters Most with Maple with co-host Michael Perry, where she interviews public figures on their life lessons, parenting journey and legacy. She has been featured in Forbes and on ABC, NBC, Fox and Thrive Global. Book Kanika today!
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