Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mom of Teens Wants Full-Time Job

I am a Mom of teenagers and I’m 52. Most of my experience has been as a waitress because it allowed me to make great money and work few hours while my kids were going through the younger years. I have had several jobs over a 30-year period in the restaurant business.

I was let go at the last job. I believe it was unfair. The supervisor was also a working waitress. The owner gave her carte blanc. She worked most things to her advantage and if you didn't like it, well tough. I worked there 3 long story short, that was one year ago.

Since then I have remained unemployed. I am not sure if I want to go back to that business or find new work. In either case I am trying to put together a resume. I am not sure how to handle the last job on the resume. I have had my Real Estate. License. I worked in a bank many years ago. I went the Medical Assistant School right out of high school. I have been a group leader in a women's group. I have attended a self-help seminar.

I am stumped as to how to begin. I have knowledge of Quickbooks, as I keep the family business organized that way.

Thanks for your advice

by Garla Smith, co-owner of Smart Moms and Part-Time Employment Specialist

Dear Mom of Teenagers,
It is a challenge to determine how to address a position where you were let go. I am always encouraging moms to be honest but don’t give away too much information too soon. For instance, sharing that you were let go can be introduced during the application stage. Having references lined up that can speak on your behalf would be counteractive to the negative perception of being let go. Perhaps another supervisor or peer from that job site could be introduced as a reference to speak about your work ethics or attention to detail, etc. There is a time to share the reasoning as to why you left but it should be brief and with a humble attitude.

As for determining your next step, I think you have quite a few options.

With your real estate. license you could continue with that or consider a new career as an R.E. Virtual Assistant. These assistants make $35- $50/hr depending on the job function. If you have detailed experience in Real Estate Marketing, this skill set is a great asset to any realtor and you can charge on the higher side. Visit the International Real Estate Assistant Association (IREA) for details about this field. If launching your own VA business is overwhelming, start out small with just your area network. Putting a simple ad on Craig’s List for your area, a small local paper or even networking within your local networking groups may bring several great clients. You only need four or five steady clients to create a steady income.

If you are not sure about real estate or any of the other careers that you have had in the past, you may want to consider doing some online career assessments. Visit Smart Moms to start a free preliminary career assessment. The results from this assessment may yield ideas about a new career that you have not thought of.

Finally, your Quickbooks skills are more valuable than you think. You can validate this premise by simply using Google and searching for “Quickbooks and jobs”. You will see that there are many jobs (part-time and full-time) that require Quickbooks skills. I encourage you to complete a certification program that can validate your Quickbooks and Accounting skills. Visit this page on Smart Moms for more information about classes and online programs. Any employer will respect 2+ years of experience, related references and certifications in your field.

I hope this information helps. If not please repost questions or send directly to me at

Garla Smith is co-owner of Smart Moms. Her expertise lies in matching flexible, part-time jobs with qualified professional candidates.

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