Moms: What to look for in a workplace.

As a working mom, finding the right place to work is key. And honestly, it could take a while.

We can all agree job hunting is torture. You spend your evenings applying for jobs, taking time off work to attend interviews, rewriting your resume over and over- It’s just exhausting. But sometimes it takes trial and error to get things just right.

Working Mother Magazine (one of my personal favorites) debuts their 100 Best Companies for 2014 next week in their Oct/Nov issue. Follow their Facebook page for more information.

I’ve got some tips, I’ve learned from my own personal experience that I’d like to share with you if you find yourself as a mom and job hunting.

1. Wait until the end. Don’t ask about flexibility, vacation days, sick day until near the end of the interview. To me, I think it’s tacky and I think most employers would agree. They want to hear questions from you about the specific position, the company and what you could bring to the table. I usually slide a line in like, “I am a mom and I’m also curious about the flexibility within the position.” If you’re being interviewed by a woman she usually starts off with her personal story about how she works her job around her life. At that point you know you’re in good hands.

2. Google search. If I know the name of the person I’m being interviewed by, you can guarantee I’m Googling that person to find her Facebook page and LinkedIn profile. Hey! You’ve seen the news reports they do the same to us- so it’s totally fair game!

3. LinkedIn. Speaking of LinkedIn, most companies by now have a LinkedIn profile, search to see if you have any contacts that work there already or have worked there. If not, search to see their list of employees, do you see a lot of women or is it mainly men? Look for family photos or are they friends with women who have kids. This can tell you a lot about the person before you even meet them.

4. Mobile isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If your job is offering you a company cell or computer, don’t be scared of it. I have friends who see this as their company requesting constant contact with them. I have a company computer and sure, sometimes I work late or I work once the kids are in bed, but it’s usually because I left work early to go to dance class, for a doctor’s appointment, etc. You have to look at your situation and realize it might not be a bad thing to connect when on your own time.

5. Assess the room. Once you land an interview now it’s time to put on that pretty smile and investigator’s eye sight. Try to up and down every room and hallway you are guided into. Steal a glance inside an office or cubicle, does the employee have photos of children displayed? I had one interview that was one-on-one in a woman’s personal office. She had her kids’ school photos and artwork on display and I knew it would be a good fit. On the contrary, I had one interview where the conference room had annual company photos on display, which I thought was a good sign. The bad sign, all the folks interviewing me were men and it was not a good fit. I learned that one the hard way.

In the end, I always recommend trusting your gut and like I said before. It can be trial and error. You may take a position and realize it’s an awful fit and that’s ok! Promise.

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