How a Stay-at-Home Mom Can Get Back to Work

Lisa Scheutz had been a stay at home mom for five years and wants to go back to work. I started by asking her what her ideal job would be. She made it easy for me because she immediately said, "personal assistant."

After asking her what she'd be offering as a personal assistant, I suggested she tell everyone she knows something like this:

I have been an stay-at-home-mom for five years and loved it. It's been a privilege seeing my kids grow up. But now I'm eager to get back to work. What I think I'm meant to do on this earth is to be a personal assistant. I can do everything from scheduling to errands, child care to cooking. I love being the right arm. Might you know someone who could use a good personal assistant?"

Note that I didn't ask her to say, "Do you have a job opening?" That not only is unlikely, it feels pressuring. I'm only half joking when I say: If you ask for a job, you'll get advice. Ask for advice, you'll get a job.

I also explained that key to a pitch's effectiveness is avoiding job-seeker language like, "I'm seeking a dynamic opportunity with a growing company." If you phony it up, you won't create the needed chemistry.

She said she'd feel great giving the aforementioned pitch. Her next step should be to make a list of 25-50 people she knows, whether or not they're in a position to hire her--people know people. And for each name on the list, she should write the wisest way to approach that person: phone, email, invite them for a drink, take a hike, go to a movie, go shopping, invite him or her to a party, etc.

It's very unlikely that a person will have a lead, let alone a job for you at the moment you ask. So when a person says no, respond with something like, "I understand. If in a month, I'm still looking, would you mind if I circle back to you?" The person will usually agree and that recruits a scout for you. No, the person is unlikely to beat the bushes for you but is more likely to have encountered something during a month than in the moment you asked.

I'd bet that if Lisa uses the approach above, she'll land that job.
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