Stay home with kids or accept an entry-level job?
August 25, 2012 11:14 AM Subscribe
After being out of the job market for two years and becoming a stay-at-home mom, should I take an entry-level job, even if it's a big step down financially?
posted by clarequilty to work & money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
After being laid off two years ago, I've moved to a city where jobs in my field are almost nonexistent. Since then, I've had a baby, and have been surprisingly happy to be a stay-at-home mom. But I'm ready to go back to work, especially since we've exhausted our financial resources, and I know I can't stay home forever.
My question is, considering the lack of jobs in my former field in my new town, does it look bad for my career trajectory if I take a job that pays less than half of what I used to make? Financially, we almost can't afford for me take this job, since childcare expenses for two children will eat up my entire salary.
I've applied for many other jobs, but haven't even gotten an email back. I'm currently interviewing with a company outside of my field in an entry-level, customer service position, and I'm torn about accepting the job should it be offered to me. They seem like a genuinely nice group of people, and I don't think I'd hate working there. But it's a big step down from my former position--could this hurt me in the future if I find a job that might be a better fit?
I've heard that many employers aren't even looking at job applicants who aren't currently employed; this is making me think that maybe it's better for me to take a job, ANY job, just to get back into the workplace and keep an eye out for future opportunities later down the line. But I also realize that working full-time may cut into my opportunities to network and interview for future jobs.
I realize this is a highly personal decision, but are there other laid-off, now stay-at-home-moms here who have taken a job that paid less than they needed just to get the whiff of unemployment off their resume? I don't relish the thought of being away from my young children for 10 hours a day, especially if we're just breaking even after childcare costs, but I'm worried that being out of the job market for much longer will make it that much harder for me to find meaningful employment later on.
Has anyone here faced a similar dilemma?