10 Tips For Moms Returning To Work

    10 Tips for moms returning to work

    Whatever the reason for getting back to work, albeit the children are getting bigger and there is more free time or the financial pressures are too much for the household, it is essential for you as moms to stay relevant and in-touch on a professional level.

    It can be daunting to get out of your comfort zone and be a  back to work mom after being a stay-at-home mom for several years. RecruitMyMom specialises in assisting you to find flexible and part-time jobs which makes it possible for you to both work and integrate the needs of the family.

    Going back to work not only gives you confidence but the opportunity to demonstrate your talents other than those needed to manage a family. Read about how this stay-at-home mom, Janine Basil, made a successful transition into work after raising her boys. –

    Here are ten tips to help prepare you for the journey back to work.

    1. Update your CV

    Ensure your CV is detailed enough to enable you to stand out from the crowd. Demonstrate that your skills are current and relevant to the job for which you are applying. Take the time to demonstrate through your previous job experiences that your skill set is in line with the requirements of the job specification.

    Research current CV formats for your industry.  In the past, education was a critical section on the CV, whereas today recruiters focus more on skills. It is still important to include formal training, but this can now appear later in the CV.


    2. Mind the Gap

    If you have been out of work for a while and there are gaps in your professional work experience, explain why these exist when applying for a position. Do not get into personal details, but do not leave the recruiter wondering why the gap exists.

    3. Update your skills

    Stay current in today’s fast-moving technology world.  Do an online-course if required to update and upskill yourself.  Many moms retrain and change careers entirely at this point of returning to work. See it as an opportunity in your life to reinvent yourself.

    4. Remain relevant

    Keep your skills relevant and stay in touch with your industry’s trends. Follow the leaders in your field on social media. Update your software skills, for example, if you are a bookkeeper, learn how to work within a cloud-based accounting package.  Cloud-based companies like Xero offer free training through their website.

    5. Believe in yourself 

    Confidence is often the difference between getting a job or not. Look fabulous at the interview. If you look good, you feel good. It is like riding a bicycle; once you are back in the saddle, you will know what to do in the job.

    6. Keep it professional

    Employers are employing you for your skill, not your life circumstances. Do not overshare in your CV application or in an interview about your personal challenges. Employers will hire you because you can add value to their business, not because they feel sorry for you.

    7. Update wardrobe

    If you have been out of work for a while, update your wardrobe. Working wardrobes have changed over time. Research the dress culture of the organisation you might be visiting for an interview.  Read this article on dressing for an interview. 

    8. Be honest

    Don’t over or undersell yourself. If you oversell yourself, you will disappoint the employer. If you undersell yourself, you are likely to miss the job opportunity. Be honest and not too modest.

    9. Have a plan in place

    Have a clear idea as to how you are going to integrate work into your life before returning to work.  It will be hectic, and you need to know which balls are critical so that you can prioritise the important ones at all times.

    10. Learn to code

    Java, CSS and PHP coding is one of the most sought-after skills in South Africa. Coding can be done remotely and can open many doors for employment or starting your own business. Best of all, you will be able to speak the same language as your teenager 🙂


    Job Creator of the Year® Award

    We are very proud of our CEO, Phillipa Geard, who won the category award, Job Creator of the Year®, of the prestige Entrepreneur of the Year® award. 
    The Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS is an annual competition that recognises and honours successful South African entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector. The competition celebrates excellence in entrepreneurship with the aim to inspire others to venture into and succeed in the world of business. The competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS has built up a stellar reputation of unearthing and celebrating top South African entrepreneurs in the SMEs sector. – Source: EOY
    The Entrepreneur of the Year® initiative is not just about the competition. It is about:
    • Contributing to the development of the standard of excellence in entrepreneurship throughout South Africa;
    • Promoting entrepreneurial excellence as the norm and not the exception;
    • Promoting entrepreneurship as an honourable and rewarding yet challenging career;
    • Educating entrepreneurs so that they reach a standard of excellence;
    • Educating the youth about what entrepreneurship entails with the aim of encouraging them to select entrepreneurship as a viable career option;
    • Influencing government legislation by being the voice of entrepreneurs in order to create a healthy legal environment in which entrepreneurs can thrive.
    The award categories are:
    • Emerging Entrepreneur
    • Small Business Entrepreneur
    • Medium Business Entrepreneur
    • Job Creator of the Year
    • Innovator of the Year
    • Lifetime Achiever
    • Judges Prize
    Read more about it in the media:

    Virtual Assistants – hiring differently is changing growth for SME’s

    Virtual Assist
    The term “Virtual Assistant” is relatively new in South Africa. Business owners when considering hiring an assistant to lighten the workload often only think only of hiring someone in office. However, since the rapid growth of the internet and home-based working, Virtual Assisting is one of the fastest growing new jobs, followed closely behind by “Digital Moms”.

    What exactly is a Virtual Assistant?

    A sci-fi mind image may be that of a Barbie-sized hologram appearing on the desk to be at one’s beck and call. The reality is that a Virtual Assistant is precisely what the name says it is, a person that assists one from a virtual office space, often in a home or a co-working office environment. They can be self-employed professionals, who work for multiple clients, depending on time requirements. Virtual Assistants can assist with almost anything including financial assistance, marketing, design, diary management, research assistance, administration, writing, cloud accounting and much more. Anything an SME needs help with, that can be done from a virtual office, would fall into a Virtual Assistant role.
    Some of the roles which fall under Virtual Assistant overlap with what freelancers do. Mostly this is the same thing, but virtual assistants can include positions not associated with freelancing such as administration and financial management where freelancing is mostly associated with the creative advertising industry.

    How are Virtual Assistants helping SME’s grow?

    For start-ups and SME’s, it’s common for business owners/managers to attempt to manage everything themselves for cost-efficiency and control purposes. While doing everything oneself is a fast way to learn all aspects of running a business, it can quickly become overwhelming, and too time-consuming. It’s true that every part of running a business is essential, no matter how small – but some tasks are better outsourced to enable the management team to focus on working ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is an affordable and low-risk high return way to get the skills a business needs. RecruitMyMom, utilising a database of thousands of skilled women looking for part-time and flexible work has made it easy for SME’s to hire the right Virtual Assistant by matching client’s needs to the skills required.
    Quick Virtual Assist, a new service recently launched by RecruitMyMom, enables businesses to request quick assistance from our existing base of tried and tested Virtual Assistants for fast project turnaround. Examples are graphic design for company social media images and email communication, HR advice, or set-up assistance with cloud-based accounting packages such as Xero to name a few.

    Pros to hiring a Virtual Assistant

    Having a Virtual Assistant saves a company both time and money while delivering a skill that helps grow the business.
    Time – Free up valuable management time to focus on revenue and growth strategies. 
    Speed – Tasks get done faster by an assistant who is experienced in a specific skill. 
    Space – Companies don’t need to provide additional office space, thereby reducing the cost of rental space by having an in-office assistant. 
    Empower – Delegate tasks management is not skilled, or too skilled to do. 
    Stress Reduction – Remove non-essential tasks from senior decision makers in the business or enhance skills within the company to assist with delivery. 
    Revenue growth – Focus on essential business tasks.
    Hiring a Virtual Assistant takes the pressure off having to pay someone’s monthly salary, as one only pays for the portion of their output used. As the business grows, one can increase the Virtual Assistants hours or take on multiple Virtual Assistants to build the business.

    Quick Virtual Assist from RecruitMyMom

    RecruitMyMom has recently launched a new service to their offering.
    The hiring process for a Quick Virtual Assistant is as follow:
    • Load a job specification here
    • A RecruitMyMom Manager will call you and be your primary contact.
    • The Manager will select the perfect Quick Virtual Project Assistant for your skill requirement from our database.
    • Project Fees are agreed on upfront with the RecruitMyMom Manager depending on length, skill and experience required.
    • The Quick Virtual Assistant will work closely with the business.
    • RecruitMyMom manages all payments for our clients to the Virtual Assistant.
    • An upfront deposit is required for all Quick Virtual Assist Projects, but not for long-term Virtual Assistant Projects.
    Quick Virtual Assist current skills from RecruitMyMom include but are not limited to:
    • Graphic Design
    • Cloud Accounting
    • Human Resources
    • Administration
    • Proofreading
    • Content Writing 
    • Secretarial
    Finding the right Virtual Assistant can take a business to another level through the additional skill and resource they can provide. This is an attractive, affordable option for any business but particularly early start-ups who don’t need a full-time in-office resource, particularly during stages of early growth and change.
    If you are interested in being considered for a Virtual Assistant position with RecruitMyMom, follow these steps below:
    • Sign up as a candidate for free.
    • Log into your account on RecruitMyMom
    • Go to Edit my Profile
    • Select My CV
    • Tick the Virtual Assistant box under “Select the type of jobs you are interested in”.
    • Remember to Save

    4 Obvious benefits of women at work in a digital era

    Women at work

    With August being woman’s month in South Africa, we are celebrating what 20 000 women started back in 1956. To have women in senior decision making roles within the workplace was completely uncommon just a couple of decades ago. We salute the many strong women that have paved the way and made it possible for women today to achieve whatever they set their minds to accomplish.

    Thankfully, the workplace has changed considerably since the 1950’s, and we now find ourselves in the 4th Industrial Revolution where virtual reality and artificial intelligence is shaping the way we work and communicate with one another.  Research indicates that we are tending to lose touch with meaningful connections and relationships.

    Looking at the Customer Experience (CX) predictions for 2018, the trend shows that clients and customers alike are looking for more meaningful relationships from and within the workplace. There is a need for personal and authentic connections. These are qualities are seen as more feminine, qualities like empathy, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution.

    With this in mind, we take a look at four obvious benefits of having women in the workplace particularly in a digital era.


    Customer Relationship Forming

    Women are naturally inclined to form relationships with the customers they are in contact with through work. Relationship building gives them a better understanding of who the customer is and what their particular needs are. This knowledge not only enables the company to better communicate with the customer but also how to tailor and adapt the product or service offering in line with customer needs. They are more likely to nurture a client relationship, even in a digital space. Better offering and targeted communication mean an increased return on investment for the company.


    Creating Healthy Office Environments

    A healthy, positive office environment creates higher employee satisfaction and builds loyalty. Sharing cake on someone’s birthday or dressing up to celebrate certain holidays builds team morale and spirit. Women are more likely to initiate these occasions than men. Events like these bring co-workers together and encourage positive, healthy office environments. They are more likely to collaborate with co-workers and with virtual teams coming together from all parts of the globe, having women team members can help facilitate that collaboration.


    Insight and Diversity of Thought

    A recent survey indicates that SA women account for 47% of online shopping. Companies ignore this amount of buying power by women at their peril. Companies need to know how to reach them effectively. Having women in decision-making roles provides insight into how different thought processes work when making purchase decisions. Notwithstanding the research conducted by McKinsey (2017) shows that gender-diverse leadership in companies is 21% more likely to produce above-average profitability, while ethnically and culturally diverse leadership is 33% more likely to outperform.

    READ  The Gender “LEAK” Must Stop for Socio-Economic Sake!

    Work-Life Integration

    Generally, women are still the primary caretakers of the household, which means that their entire life is not centered on work. With the great strides being made towards flexible and part-time working arrangements with employers, women are more likely to understand that people have personal needs and that it is possible to be highly productive and work flexibly. This empathy with co-workers from senior management will create loyalty and increase retention for employers.

    Having women in the workplace is a no-brainer that benefits any office environment through fostering loyalty amongst customers and employees. For a world that is moving quickly towards digital workspaces, it is imperative to have this diversity.  


    About the Author: Phillipa Geard Founder and CEO of RecruitMyMom is a national online recruitment agency that matches forward-thinking employers to skilled women seeking part-time and flexible employment including lawyers, accountants, marketers, digital experts, office support and many more.

    The Gender “LEAK” Must Stop for Socio-Economic Sake!

    The Gender Leak must stop

    The idea that the ideal employee is male with no family responsibilities is outdated in this day and age. Sadly discrimination against women, and particularly women with children in the workplace is something we as South Africans experience on a daily basis.

    The day-to-day reality in most homes is that the care requirements of a family lie with the Mom of the home. Whether it is the WHO and UNICEF recommended exclusive breastfeeding period of six months and supplemented breastfeeding of up to two years, early childhood development or homework assistance required in an ailing education system. Not forgetting the day to day running of the home or supporting loved ones affected or infected with illnesses such as HIV, cancer and more, most Moms take the brunt of family care.

    Despite the reality of the primary care coming from the Mom in the home, most women want to remain in the workplace. In the USA a study shows that 57% of stay at home Moms wish to return to work. Not only is this good news for employers, it’s good news for society at large.
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    Essential Success Elements to Implementing Flexible Work Arrangements in the Work Place

    Flexible Work Arrangements
    Rentia Landman - Industrial Psychologist

    Author: Rentia Landman – Industrial Psychologist | Professional Coach | HR Consultant | OD Specialist and owner of Landman Consulting

    Following on from the article Key for change: Employment with a future mindset where I discussed the need for the change concerning flexible working arrangements, I trust that you are convinced that the time has come to make flexible working in South Africa the norm. You might even be willing to give it a try yet find yourself asking: where do I begin and how do I know it is going to work?

    In this article, I will be sharing some ideas as to what I believe are essential success elements for flexible work arrangements.  I trust this will help identify the ideal starting point for your organisation and in the process give you the courage to take the first step. I do not believe that you have to wait for the perfect circumstances, having everything in place, before starting the flexible working journey in your organisation. Knowing the critical elements required for successful flexible work arrangements and understanding the potential risks and challenges of flexible working are essential in preparing you for this change journey.

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    Filling the Skills Shortage with On-Demand Recruitment

    Filling the Skills Shortage with On-Demand Recruitment

    Since the early days of the internet back in the nineties, the explosion of technology has made enormous leaps forward in the way people are being employed.

    Back in the day, long-established rules entrenched by decades of strict work principles, dictated that workers should sit at a desk in an office from 8 to 5.

    The ever-growing need for flexible employment and the momentum this need has created – by both employer and employee – is making a notable difference in filling the work void. Continue reading

    The Key for Change: Employment with a Future Mindset

    Rentia Landman - Industrial Psychologist, Change Management

    Author: Rentia Landman – Industrial Psychologist | Professional Coach | HR Consultant | OD Specialist and owner of Landman Consulting

    The increased demand for flexible working is one of the key driving forces behind the rapidly changing nature of work (source: Key trends for global employers in 2018 by Baker Mackenzie).  It is essential for anyone making employment and hiring decisions in South Africa to be prepared and equipped to respond to the evolving needs of the modern workforce.

    This is not by any means a new insight, nor is it one that we are surprised to see listed, but it is interesting to note the rate of prevalence has grown so quickly. Employers have been fielding requests – or more recently increased demands – for flexible working conditions for years. Appeals for increased flexibility come from parents, millennials, introverts, unconventional and forward-thinking employees in almost every sphere of business worldwide.

    Significant research has been done on the need for and benefits of flexible working, as well as the risks and challenges. Polycom’s Global survey of 24,000+ workers unearths the need for flexibility in the workplace in order for businesses “to thrive”. Another example is Regus’s research, The Workplace Revolution, which canvasses the opinions of over 20,000 senior managers and business owners, exploring the increasing trend in flexible working around the world.

    Despite global changes to accommodate a more flexible workforce, we have seen a slow adoption rate amongst South African employers. Locally, most positions are still advertised as full-time, permanent, in-office positions. In rare cases where flexible working is offered, the perception is that the employee is being granted an extraordinary allowance and it is expected that they be grateful, disproportionately so in comparison to other benefits. If flexibility is still viewed by some as an inconvenience to the employer, we aim to explore possible reasons for this and uncover ways to overcome these challenges – ultimately unleashing the international trend of flexible working in South Africa.

    The lessons have been learnt globally and the time is right for us to embrace this knowledge, prepare ourselves and make the change which we all know is radically needed in our way of working.

    Company Culture – Adjusting a Mindset

    Perhaps having read so far, you’re thinking it sounds great in theory, but to try and implement a new “pro-flexibility” mindset at your company is going to be easier said than done. Our goal is to enable anyone in a hiring capacity, including small business owners, managers of SME’s and HR professionals to take up the role of behaviour scientists/specialists and partner with their businesses to make these changes possible. It is vital that you do, not only for the benefits of employees but also – and perhaps more so – for the sake of the business. Globally, companies that are not implementing more flexible work policies are falling behind and feeling the impact of losing the war for talent.

    In South Africa, while other companies hang on to old working structures, those driving change will have a competitive edge. For some, resisting change by choosing to believe flexible working is just the latest trend – adopting the attitude that… this too shall pass – could mean seriously missing out on some of the best skills and talent. To be blunt, addressing those companies: I am afraid you are wrong. You need only switch on the radio to hear this “case for change” broadcasted over the airways.

    To name a few recent examples:

    • As part of Cape Town’s “Day Zero” contingency planning, employers were encouraged to prepare for employees to work from home.
    • The “traffic congestion crisis” – which sees ongoing and ever-increasing traffic problems in most of our metropolitan cities – where thousands of productive hours are lost daily by people trying to get to work. It has been stated many times that the solution is in more efficient transportation systems: an expensive, radical change. Flexible working conditions, staggered hours and especially remote working could a true solution to this.
    • In the news once again: National transport strikes and bus drivers’ strikes. In anticipation of the strikes, an official announcement was to employers encouraging them to prepare for employees to work from home.

    There are many more examples of this. The point is, this is not a passing phase… the time has come to equip ourselves and make the changes toward flexible working in our employment practices. If we accept this and buy into it, why does it feel as though it might be an insurmountable challenge to sell the idea to the chief decision makers and heads of our companies?

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    Dressing For An Interview

    Most people would refuse to turn up at a gym wearing flip-flops and a sundress to run on the treadmill, while a 2-piece business suit would invite ridicule in a spinning class. Neither would be allowed on a golf course.

    Failure to comply with dress codes would mean having to choose another pastime. Dominoes or Tiddlywinks anyone?

    It perplexes recruiters and interviewers that, when seeking employment, not everyone understands or respects the importance of presenting themselves as well-groomed and well dressed.

    What should I wear to a job interview?

    Female interview dress codes differ depending on the company culture where you’re being interviewed. It should go without saying that you must do your homework about the company before your interview. Surprisingly (to us, anyway) most candidates do not do any research about companies before turning up for interviews. With information so readily accessible nowadays, there’s really no excuse not to gain some basic insight.

    What if there really is no company information online?

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    What Our Constitution Says About Human Rights and Labour Relations

    Who doesn’t enjoy a day off work to enjoy the sunshine before the winter sets in?

    As summer starts to fade and the first hints of autumn appear, on 21 March we enjoy a day off work.

    Though grateful for the time off, many South Africans are scratching their heads wondering what public holiday it is.

    Sound familiar?

    Human Rights Day #RememberSharpeville

    With a tumultuous history such as ours, the question gets asked more than most would like to admit…

    Q: Human Rights Day, 21 March – what’s this day all about?

    A: It marks the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. 

    In total, 289 people lost their lives, amongst them were 8 women and 10 children. Among those injured were another 31 women and 19 children. The history behind the massacre is not only harrowing but heartbreaking and serves as a reminder to all just how dangerous it can be when human rights are exploited or ignored.

    As mothers, we feel these types of tragedies on a deeply emotional level when we start to examine the history and the personal stories of the victims and their legacy.

    Human Rights Day

    While it’s important to us to run a professional and successful business, one of our core values at RecruitMyMom is to treat everyone with respect and this really encapsulates what our South African Constitution is all about.

    Since the day RecruitMyMom was launched, the goal has been to empower and uplift women to realise their full potential professionally once they started their families. Taking a look at the Constitution, often described as the best written constitution in the world, we examine carefully why it is so unique and strong, in terms of employment and what this means for our candidates and for our employers.

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