it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

I am a long-time lurker who has drunk her morning coffee with your column every Monday through Friday. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years and finding your website has taught me so much though I have been out of the workforce for so long. During this time I got my degree in business administration and bided my time for return, enjoying my kids in the process.

Both my kids started school this year at the same time and I decided to go back to work, at first just for part-time and eventually full-time. I applied to so many places and managed to get one interview but the hours meant my kids would be alone in the morning and afternoon. Out of desperation, I accepted the interview and told their HR person that I had no up-to-date references. She seemed unbothered but when she sent me the confirmation email she asked for five references, three that were to be managers. I was worried since the companies I worked for did not give references.

I texted a friend to see if she could be a reference for me and she said yes. She then asked what I was looking for. I shared where I had applied for and she said a position was open at her job for the position I wanted. I was afraid of abusing her friendship, but I remembered my neighbor (and your site) talking about networking and decided to go for it.

I went for an interview the very next morning and was so scared as the boss started asking me questions about what I did 13 years ago. When he asked if I had any questions, I almost said no until I remembered your constant references to the magic question. I looked him in the eyes and asked how the person he hires for that position can excel so that his business would run smoothly and with excellence. He shared all the hopes and expectations he had for that person, which were all very reasonable but required delicate attention and consistency. I knew I was the right person for that job, since he was describing me in my everyday life!

I went home feeling good. I knew what I wanted to do and the hours I wanted to work; if I didn’t get this one, I would try again. That was Thursday morning, and by Friday afternoon I had a job offer and the pay I wanted.

I just finished my first week. I’m so tired but I’m so happy! The team is strong and passionate about people. Clients come in stressed and concerned, and they leave in peace and with a smile on their face.

I was scared of my past work at toxic places but this team respects work and life balance while at the same time giving their all during work hours.

The hardest part of the transition is I miss my kids so much now that I get home later in the day, but I’m learning to appreciate the time we have. I know I cannon-balled into a deep ocean without having swum for 13 years, but I couldn’t have found myself re-experiencing this in a better place. I’m excited for work and I love coming home to a hot meal made by my husband, who immediately switched to an earlier shift so he could be here when the kids got home for my peace of mind.

I know this is long, but I wanted to thank you for teaching me through your column over the years. I also wanted encourage other stay-at-home parents that while it’s scary, we too can find the best fit for us and there is no shame in asking friends for a little help in the job hunt when we’re ready.

{ 20 comments… read them below }

  1. Legally Brunette*

    Congratulations on finding such a great fit for you and your family, LW! Wishing you much success and continued enjoyment in the job. This is great Friday Good News to ring out 2023!

  2. Bookworm*

    Maybe this letter was “long”, OP but it was worth every word. TY for sharing your good news with us.

  3. RJ*

    OP, thank you for sharing your journey. I wish you the best of luck in your well earned success. Keep shining!

  4. English Rose*

    This is such a brilliant good news story – and extremely well-written, I felt like I was with you every step of the way. I especially loved “Clients come in stressed and concerned, and they leave in peace and with a smile on their face” and your lovely husband switching shifts. Well done you!

  5. phira*

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, OP! I’ve been a stay at home mom for about a year and a half now, with plans to return to work part time in a few years if I can. I’ve been so scared about re-entering the workforce without a lot of fresh references, so this makes me feel very hopeful!

  6. boof*

    What a wonderful update OP. It’s hard to do everything for everyone but I think there’s a certain amount of valuing time with the kids more when it’s more limited, and it can mean making more concerted quality time.
    Very glad there’s a good fit for you to work part time and respect your schedule! I hope all employers who might see this take note!

  7. Elizabeth Royer*

    Love this! And I love that your husband stepped in to support you/your kids/the family system with this new change. Spouses of former stay at home partners don’t always realize they need to do that!

  8. once upon a time a long, long time ago . . .*

    Congratulations! Your story is so inspiring and encouraging! Thank you for sharing your journey. As a long-time SAHM wondering if my skills and experience will be valued in the workplace so many years later, you’ve given me hope. Happy New Year!

  9. IrishEm*

    OP I am made up for you! So happy! This is great news. You’ll go from strength to strength in this job.

  10. Emmie*

    Your experience is so inspiring, OP! There is so much to love about this! Congratulations and many well wish professionally and to your wonderful family.

  11. Numbat*

    Congratulations on your new job, your lovely family, and generally kicking goals in life. Well done you!!!

  12. Current Employer: 2 Small Humans and opposite-sized expectations*

    As a current stay-at-home mom that someday aspires to do what you are doing, this really is a story of courage in a reality that isn’t all daffodils and daisies. Best of luck to you! Keep us updated as the years go on, please.

  13. Melissa*

    I was a SAHM and I am now back at work, so I really understand the challenges in that transition. Good for you!! It makes me so happy when someone is able to do what you did. It’s hard but totally worth it.

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