by Shelley Macon, Head Editor, INALJ Florida
Can I Put That On My Resume?
It’s been a long time since I have had an actual “job.” And by “job” I mean – a reoccurring time of work that is accompanied by a salary which is paid in money (as opposed to macaroni art and sticky-faced kisses). Yes, I have spent the last 14 years raising a family. I chose to put my career on hold.
And now that I am thinking of rejoining the workforce soon, I am feeling the disadvantages of my long hiatus. You know that place on an application where employers typically want you to list your jobs in the last 10 years? Well, I have a goose egg, a big fat zero, jobs to list. So what do I put on my resume? “I have extensive experience vacuuming and can operate vacuums of all types, including canister, stick vacs, and uprights.” I don’t think so.
That is one of the reasons I chose to volunteer with INALJ. To get some recent, relevant experience. It has been a great way to do some pre-job searching networking and to get back up-to-date on the wonderful world of the librarian. But, as I think back on my years of motherhood I have begun to see how childrearing has given me some great skills that are clearly applicable to a library job.
1. I have learned how to define my role as an authority figure. I am “the boss.” We can play and have fun, but at the end of the day I am their mother (aka boss), not their friend.
2. I have no problem setting rules and boundaries. And standing by them. Even in the face of a zealous, majority opposition.
3. I have held story time almost daily for over a decade.
4. Neither temper tantrums nor bodily fluids faze me.
5. I can successfully manage the schedules of 4 active children, 1 cat, 1 husband, and myself. A logistics feat worthy of a general.
6. I have helped with every type of homework assignment and project imaginable.
7. With careful and clever questioning, I can discern a person’s true wants and needs based upon the most flimsy or bizarre request.
8. I know how to reach out to the community. I am the community.
9. I can work with, and am comfortable with, children of all ages.
10. With perseverance and determination, I can find just about any lost item. In fact, nothing is really lost unless I can’t find it.
So even though I have not had a “job.” I have been working. And my skill set and composure have grown accordingly. All of which will only stand me in good stead when I rejoin the workforce. So all I need to know now is, can I put all of that on my resume?