Career Transition: Career Insurance for Moms: Why Planning Now Will Save You Later

Laura Hofmann has successfully worked with clients of all ages, educational levels, and industries. She conducts hundreds of individual and group based sessions and workshops. Her recent projects include facilitating a Career Re-launch Workshop series for Stay-At-Home Moms and teaching Career Exploration courses at Clark Community College in Vancouver, WA. Laura has a M.Ed in Counseling and Guidance and can be reached via her private practice site

Career Insurance for Moms: Why Planning Now Will Save You Later by Laura Hofmann

As mothers we obtain our education and professional experience before, during, and after having our children. Various timelines play out as we have our children and move through our careers and lives. Sometimes they follow a certain order, and sometimes not.

In the current job market, jobs creation is scarce and unemployment is high. This impacts families regardless of education level, geographic location, age, or experience. It creates situations where mothers, staying home to raise children, decide to return to the workforce. They want to help with wages lost by a spouse due to a layoff, reduction of hours, or underemployment. Mothers may choose to return to the workforce for self-fulfillment, to pursue a passion, start a home based business, or to contribute to family savings.

Often, mothers that are not working for pay are so busy taking care of children, household, and related activities that they have little time and energy to devote to professional and career development. When the time comes to seek employment, their skills and professional experience have become outdated or obsolete. They lack confidence in their skills and abilities, and are unsure of what direction to go. It’s a vulnerable time, especially if a mother is dealing with financial hardship, and needs to find paid work right away due to the layoff of a spouse, divorce, illness, or death of a spouse.

This added pressure can result in a mother taking a position that is less than ideal. It may pay less, offer less flexibility or be a position that the mother is over/under qualified for. These positions may not last long and can create brief stints of employment that harm the continuity of work history on the mother’s resume. Desperation can lead mothers to sign up for training programs that are overpriced with promises of eventual large salaries and job placement that never materializes. They can be unprepared to properly research training options and the local demand/pay for various positions and end up regretting their training choice. It is hard to advocate for yourself when you lack knowledge and when the “admissions counselors” at many for-profit schools are actually trained salespeople eager to sign you up for student loans that are difficult to pay back.

So, with all these challenges….what is a mother to do?
Mothers need to plan ahead! Just like life insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance and savings/investment programs, mothers benefit from planning and investing now in professional skills and career development, whether they plan to seek paid work right away or not. Investing in training, updating skills, expanding networks, engaging in paid or unpaid work to keep a current resume, etc. will serve mothers well when the time comes to go back to work, now or 10 years from now. It is so important for mothers to develop independent security through career development. Yes, it takes time to research and invest, do the homework and dig deep to find the right career solutions. However, future earnings may one day be desperately needed…so mothers should not wait until they are up against a wall. Mothers, get started planning ahead by taking advantage of community resources such as libraries, career planning courses/workshops, One Stop Career Centers, or professional Career Counselor services.

Portland/Vancouver Community Colleges:

Locate a One Stop Career Center:

Professional Career Counselors (Portland Metro):

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