Spending most of my career in Early Childhood Education, I couldn’t wait to have my child and combine my professional and personal worlds—little did I know how overwhelming that would be. I was thrilled to bring my son to work with me, have him in the classroom right outside my office, and visit with him at any time. What I didn’t realize was how exhausting it was always to be “on.” I went from parent to work to the parent with minimal breaks, and I found myself reconsidering my career, knowing it could lead to burnout quickly.
When my son turned two, I decided to make a move and change careers. It was a big decision, and I was thankful to have support from my family and friends. I did a complete 360 pivot from Education Management to Career Coaching, and it wasn’t easy at first. I felt stuck most of the time while I was job searching and often resorted to looking for jobs in Education as it was my background and most likely how I could get a job without a significant pay cut. But, my gut told me otherwise. And I decided to listen.
I started with a broad search of what industry I enjoyed from my past. For me, it was Higher Education. I looked at jobs at universities and tried to figure out if my skills would be a good fit for any of the roles posted. The process didn’t get me very far. So, I decided to get out there and start talking to people who were doing these jobs and find out how they got to be where they are in their careers. I asked questions like, “Can you break down how you spend your day in terms of time?” “What skills are most important for your work?” “What do you find rewarding or challenging?” “Do you have any suggestions for me to try and break into this field?”
After talking with so many different people, I discovered that I already had many of the skills and qualifications to get into career coaching. I was so excited. I researched certification programs, enrolled, and started volunteering at a local non-profit. Shortly after, my mentor and the Career Services Program Manager retired, and I was ready to take over. I got offered the job, and my new career launched!
Championing Women Beyond Career Coaching in JobClub
As a certified career coach, I know the importance of having a partner who can support you in a career shift, such as re-entering the workforce after a layoff or career break or simply wanting something different. Thankfully at The Mom Project (TMP), I continually help women with career development in the program, JobClub.
JobClub is a platform for TMP members to collaborate, share experiences and get support in their job search. After working with TMP as a RALLY mentor, I jumped on the opportunity to work with more moms in a group platform.
My JobClub is Networking and More…with the primary focus of sharing connections and helping each other network to find more referrals for positions. We share our personal brand and communicate that message consistently across all platforms, including our resumes and LinkedIn profile.
Additionally, I provide valuable resources and strategies for networking on social media platforms, virtually, and in person. In my experience, and what I’ve researched is that over 80% of jobs today are found through networking, so if you can build relationships with people at your target companies, you’ll have more success getting an interview and finding the right fit.
The outpouring of support in my job club by fellow members is genuinely inspirational. I’ve seen moms support each other with ideas of how to get into a new field, exchange important contacts within their networks at companies, and words of encouragement like “you got this!” There is always someone who can empathize with you during the ups and downs of a job search which is helpful for emotional support.
In Networking and More…I like to share resources on a variety of different topics, not just networking. I share information about how to stand out by creating a solid personal brand, optimizing your LinkedIn profile to appear in more searches, and crafting an impactful elevator pitch, just to name a few. I’m also offering 1:1 sessions to give individuals feedback on their LinkedIn profiles.
Right now, my JobClub has 64 members, and it’s growing every day! More and more members are sharing their stories, finding helpful resources, and connecting with fellow moms. It’s great to see this platform’s impact on TMP members and their job searches or career shifts. Members asking questions, reaching out to connect on LinkedIn, and offering suggestions on resumes, are just a few ways I’ve seen moms support each other in this process. I know it will just continue to grow and be a valuable platform to share successes, challenges and help other moms achieve their goals and dreams for something new.
Q&A with Tara
How did you find The Mom Project? I found it on LinkedIn.
What motivated you to sign up for The Mom Project? My desire to support other moms in their job search. I feel like it takes a village of support to make a shift in your career, and I want to be part of that village for other moms. It’s my passion to help women achieve their career goals and support them with strategies and resources along the way.
What has been your favorite aspect, tool, or part of The Mom Project? The community aspect and the fantastic resources provided by the Mom Project. I love how members have access to Resume Rev and other tools to support them in their job search. It’s a collaborative effort at TMP, and everyone is willing to help each other out. I love that! It can make a world of difference.
Do you currently use the resources from The Mom Project? Yes, I love sharing the[career] resources available to other members.
Tara Skredynski is a relationship-driven career coach dedicated to professional development and learning, with a passion for supporting and empowering women in achieving their career goals. Tara can easily connect with people by building strong, trusting relationships, leading to a robust and authentic coaching engagement. She loves coaching moms reentering the workforce after a break or making a shift in their careers. You can find out more about her at www.careerfitconsulting.com.