Job-seeking mothers can get workforce re-entry advice

Women who are looking to get back in the workforce after being home to raise their families will find insight and advice in a three-session program offered by the Wilton Family Y. The emphasis will be on occupational, psychological and transition counseling.

The course will be taught by Hilary S. Berger, who holds a doctorate in education and is the director and founder of Work Like a Mother. The seminars will be held from 10 to 11:30 on Fridays mornings, March 1, 8 and 15.

The course will explore the career and life issues that pertain exclusively to women who are not currently in the workforce, and will detail strategies for revitalizing future professional endeavors.

“Women who want or need to go back to work but are immobilized and overwhelmed about how to get started can really benefit from this program,” Dr. Berger said.

The three sessions, like all Work Like a Mother events, are designed to validate the psychological obstacles that accompany mothers’ experiences in relation to work and aim to “equip them with a unique framework and the tools needed to take their life back and begin to fulfill their own promise as individuals outside the role of raising their children,” according to a company press release.

Dr. Berger has been preparing women to re-enter the workforce for 20 years and said she has pioneered a career development model and step-by-step system meant to enable women to “psychologically strengthen their sense of self and their personal and professional confidence to be able to attack the job of becoming competitive and skillful” in the labor market.

Participants are welcome to engage in a variety of skills and development exercises, accomplishments and interests acquired from educational and professional experiences. This method is combined with volunteer activities and other accomplishments made during the time they have been at home with children.

“The goal is for women to regain their vitality and belief in their own future fulfillment, outside the needs of managing their family, and live each day with relevant activities that move them closer to a clearly defined professional identity,” Dr. Berger said.

“My clients not only find great jobs, but they live with intention and build the career that they can grow with throughout the next chapter of their life.”

Instruction will also be given in résumé styles that highlight skills while minimizing any gaps in work history.

YMCA Senior Director Kim Murphy said, “We are very fortunate to be offering Dr. Berger’s career issues course here at the Y. She is a licensed professional counselor and career consultant who earned her doctoral degree from Columbia.

“She has been counseling women in transition for over 20 years in private practice and on college campuses, and has pioneered a unique, solution-oriented career counseling system, designed exclusively for mothers in transition.”

In addition to being the mother of four, Dr. Berger has taught career development and psychology courses at Norwalk Community College for 18 years, runs seminars for large and small audiences and has written numerous articles on the career implications for stay-at-home mothers.

“My primary focus is to show women another perspective about protecting and nurturing their viability and professional identities, even if they are at home raising children,” Dr. Berger said.

“I have created a successful and exciting way for women to have it all by reconsidering traditional definitions of a working woman. I also work with women on the mechanics of a job search campaign once they are ready.”

Fees for the three sessions, entitled “Career Issues for Stay at Home Moms — More Than Meets the Eye,” is $120 for members and $220 for nonmembers.

Seating for the seminar is limited and reservations with payment in advance are required.

Email Kim Murphy at kmurphy@wiltonymca.org or call 203-762-8384, ext. 214, to register or for more information.

For information about Dr. Berger and her organization, visit worklikeamother.com.