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  • Valerie Bryant

Quick-Start Menu for Mamas in Desperate Job Search

Benefits of a Quick-Start Menu

When you get a new piece of mechanical equipment, do you sometimes use the “Quick Start” menu to get rolling faster? I often do, but then I also later pour over the primary manual to absorb finer details. A Quick-start menu has the potential to save time by helping you operate an item or fulfill a task fin shorter time than usual.

Prevailing Purpose with Mamas in Mind My recent life story combines the toils I suddenly experienced that placed me in dire need of self-supporting employment and the quick-start methods I used. Through it all, I noted how I survived and struggled to share with mamas like you who might find yourself in similar disarray. For myself, I spent the earliest years of marriage in the workforce. I, like many, stepped away from a career to support my family. Years later I suddenly found myself facing devastation from marital breaches I refused to tolerate. I had to swiftly reintroduce myself into the workaday world and self-support. Since my own tragedy, I’ve encountered numerous other mamas suffering the same sudden shock, searching for effective solution to self-support after revelation of marital betrayal and emotional and/or physical abandonment. My quick-start method I share here helps you plant your feet and then step forward with greater assurance in your struggle.

One positive point for me was a spirit bred in me by several martial arts instructors who had once trained me. They would often remind me that, because of who I was as a child of God and as a mother protecting her children, I must prevail against unimaginable life devastations. This was surely one.

I must prevail!

My desire here is to share that same tenacious spirit and strategies with other mamas in similar despair so they, too, might prevail in their search.

A Common Sad Dilemma

All these years you’ve toiled behind the scenes as a part-time or full-time stay-at-home mama. Focusing nobly on raising your children and supporting your spouse, quite at his behest. You willingly bypassed opportunities for your own growth over the years as you:

  • Sacrificed your own passions to ensure your posterity received excellent nurture and watch care, centering most efforts on moving their fancies forward,

  • Sacrificed your own professional advancement to support that of your spouse. Of course, the agreement was that one future day they would return the favor, supporting you to realize your dreams and aspirations. That you believed and honored this is a testimony of your integrity to patiently do your part (and you did) to later realize right benefit. Nevertheless, that he misled you into believing that your best interest would be kept at heart and that he would one day throttle back so you could “do your thing”, is a testimony of his cruel deception to use you and your talents solely for his own selfish gain. Quite often, mama does the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting, enabling spouse to get job promotions, lofty civic statuses, and even degrees to the doctorate level. Disturbingly, in the final analysis, Mama gets the boot.

When a mama is left “high and dry” without recent workforce experience, she has reason to panic. In that panic, she loses hope as she might try figuring her worth. The only output she readily sees appears to be worthless to the business world. On the surface, her list of hard skills might look like this:

  • Cook daily meals,

  • Raise, nurture and in some cases, educated the children,

  • Organize and maintain a household,

  • Earn small change in lesser side hustles to help with finances,

  • Present a polished family for the spouse to “make him look good” – as some boldly state is her added duty. This so that he can peacock about, showing off his family trophy that she largely fashioned

A Mama’s 3-Step Job Search Quick-Start Menu

Here are 3 Steps of “Do’s” I did that helped me move my life out of need and into possession of credible and sustaining employment.

Step #1

DO ASSESS your skillset. Write a list of every hard and soft skill you possess, much like what was presented above. Record everything you’ve done, every function for which you volunteered, positions you worked where you were appointed (i.e., board membership), positions/duties supporting a faith-based community, and roles you took on in mother-support networks. Have you been an event organizer, an assistant coach, a club/group secretary? Realize that you might possess a wealth of rare, untapped talent that may only need the boost of a certification or a degree. Also consider these skills common to most every mama who put great stock in supporting her household – and know that the business world desires these:

  • Time management

  • Financial management

  • Critical thinking (Problem solving)

  • Communications

  • Organizational skills

  • Negotiation

  • Personnel (people) management

  • Entrepreneur

  • Relocation management (I was a military spouse who masterfully orchestrated every detail of our stateside and overseas moves every 1-2 years for nearly 20)

Step #2

DO CONNECT details from your assessment of what you offer to positions in the business world. Your assessments might well uncover talents and skillsets that, when coupled with professional certifications or academic degree, could point you in real marketable directions.

Whether part-time or full-time, these skills, if aptly fortified, could possibly qualify you for incredible employment. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of jobs in some demand in our society today. After inspecting these, you might want to Google what skills they require and see where you fit:

  • Conflict resolution chief (think on the scores of sibling tiffs you’ve quelled – not everybody can claim such success)

  • Program Manager

  • Project Manager

  • Financial Analyst

  • Human Resources (staff/management)

  • Relocation Strategist

  • Event Analyst

  • Communications Specialist

  • Event Coordinator

  • Counselor/Advisor

  • Writer

  • Interior Designer

  • Childcare Development Center (manager, adviser, financial consultant, childcare)

Ask your friends and/or family to tell you what skills they’ve seen you demonstrate. We often downplay or miss our talents while others might more readily see them. Your first strategy to secure credible work is to first connect the dots and details that show our worth in the job market.

Step #3

DO TAP into every possible resource to step yourself forward. Fuel yourself with the positive realities that you do have the foundation (and likely more) of what it takes to secure good employment. Using the positive to motivate is encouraging and produces exceptional results rather than focusing on the negative – fear of having been abandoned and in desperation. You’ll likely then focus more on what you don’t want and get precisely that. Also, don’t tune into trite sayings such as, “Beggars can’t be choosey”. You are not a beggar, and you do certainly have the final say in how your life shapes up going forward.

Figure a few job paths you might pursue and then utilize every free avenue and resource to learn about it. Start here for a few ideas to tap into:

  • Free online master classes offered by gurus in most every industry,

  • Podcasts you can listen to as you go about your day

  • YouTube “academy” where experts can be found to provide free information on any topic

  • Nominally priced courses and certifications on platforms like Teachable

  • Community College adult education classes

  • LinkedIn offers free courses that are respected by many businesses. They offer to post when you’ve completed a course so that potential employers can see your skillset

  • Association for Talent Development (ATD) certifications

  • Degree programs (if you gain employment with a large corporation, check benefits to see if they will pay for you to acquire a degree)

Your Takeaway

Finally, the skill of reading between the lines is a critical one to perfect. It’s one that many of us lacked, leading us to stay in relationships that had long since shown question. Nevertheless, to read between the lines in this article is to notice the acronym formed by each step. To “Assess”, “Connect” and “Tap” is to “A-C-T”. Knowledge does nothing if it is gained and shelved. Therefore, use what you’ve gained here by acting. Though that heartless, deceiving, betraying individual you pledged your love to delivered you a smoldering pot of dung, you can use it as the fertilizer to grow a class act of your own success from it.

Be encouraged to boldly go before God’s throne of grace where you have every right to claim the treasures of your divine royalty. And always remember when times get tough to hold onto this promise from the “Good Book” that says your latter days will be better than your former.

I close with an intentional grammar botch & divine reminder that you're more than a conqueror:

You “Got” this Mama. It doesn’t “Got” you!

Mamas in marital trauma are invited to join Valerie's private Facebook group, TUFF Mama Time, for support, guidance and real talk.

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