Job Hunting While Home With Kids Is The Real Job


We have all had to look for work. Some more than others. Some with more success than others. Job hunting is a true grind. The highs and lows of getting phone calls for good news and phone calls with bad news. These days, just a confirmation that someone looked at your Linkedin profile can feel like win.

It’s tough. All the resume and cover letter writing, sifting through postings and trying to determine which ones are worth the effort. This is not even including the stress of in person interviews.

It is a lot of work, time and energy to hunt down work no matter what level you are looking for.

Since moving from Halifax in May, I knew my day would come where I had to get back into the working world. My summer of being a stay-at-home-dad would come to an end.

With our oldest son starting school next week, the time has come to hit the virtual pavement.

What I am finding as I have slowly begun the job hunt, is the hardest part of it all, is job hunting while home with kids.

Our boys are almost five and almost two. They are at the ages where there is a lot of fun to be had and they are able to play a little on their own. But not long enough to type up a cover letter.

Thankfully I have a pretty good system for the job hunting thanks to apps. I can easily scan jobs on my phone while with the kids and mark them for later when I have time to apply. That has been handy.

For the hour or so that I have free in the day, I can apply for a few jobs and tinker with resumes and cover letters. All of that is in my control. I would love to have more time, but it is what it is.

It gets a little crazy when the good news actually happens. You get a reply to schedule a phone interview or in person interview.

Your mind quickly races to how it fits into your parenting day. When you will have quiet. When you would have help with the kids.

You are not even focused on the actual job, you are more worried about making it fit into your kid’s schedule.

As parents, we tend to put the kids first and for me, this is certainly the case.

So far I have managed the phone interviews, as I go in the basement where nobody will hear me. I have had one in person  interview so far that caused some juggling on my wife’s part.

If only you could have seen me heading out to an interview dressed that part but carrying a diaper bag and pushing Charlie in the stroller heading on the subway. Yep, like a dad indeed.

In a perfect world, all of these companies had a daycare for people interviewing, but that’s not happening is it? Well maybe if I interview at Google.

It’s stressful but we have managed so far.

My hope is I can find something before having to do these interview playdates over and over again.

Millions of parents who are going back to work do this all the time. Don’t get my wrong, I am not complaining. I am just pointing out from experience how challenging it can be.

Every day, in my head, I am excited to get a call, and then excited when I don’t.

We also have the looming child care challenge once I find something. Because I am home with the boys, I am the daycare. The trick is, any job I find, I will most likely have a few weeks to find child care in our area.

And for anyone who knows how the daycare world works, it’s rare to pick up a phone and get in somewhere so quick.

The two choices are, take the daycare and after school care now when it is there and pay for it without the job, or wait until the job and risk not finding the daycare. It is a daily debate in my head.

Again, it all comes back to what is best for the kids, not my career. Also, I am totally fine with that. I will find a job I like, but it is about the kids first in my opinion. They are quite used to having both their mom and dad around and involved and I won’t be going to some place where I work 14 hour days.

So I will keep doing my thing.  Finding jobs, applying, taking phone interviews and somehow managing to schedule interviews while someone watches the boys.

It’s gonna happen. I have only been looking at about 25% capacity so far and had some bites. Once September hits, there will be more companies looking and I will be much more motivated to get out of the house.

Summer is over, it’s time to get back to work. Although, I feel like I have been working already simply by looking for work, while spending a lot of quality time with our boys.

Wish me luck.