Recently LinkedIn created caretaker titles like ‘Stay-at-home’ mom, dad, parent, and homemaker to facilitate people trying to get back to work after a break. Returnize conducted a survey among its members, who are looking to get back to the workplace after a career gap, and asked how they felt about this move. We asked our survey-takers four questions:
What is your reaction to this change?
Are you planning to use this feature?
Did the lack of this feature hinder you from using LinkedIn for your job search?
How will you use this feature to explain your career gap?
The responses were very illuminating. 65% of Returnize members surveyed felt they would use this feature to update their profiles, 25% were a maybe, and 10% felt they would not use the feature. Louanna A was enthusiastic about it. "I love it. Caregiving is a job in itself. It requires many soft skills, like flexibility and patience. I applaud LinkedIn for recognizing that folks in this role have skills to offer, and attempting to help people in this situation get back to work.” Beatrice L saw it as a recognition of the valuable work full-time parents do.
“Hopefully hiring companies will start considering this stay-at-home status as a valuable experience", she said. Victoria K also felt it would be “helpful to many of us who took a career break and are now looking to get back into the workforce." Sheryl B said "I think it is great that they are acknowledging a fairly large group that has been ignored/forgotten. Stay-at-home parenting is a reality in the US where working parents are given little or no help with time to have kids and then help to have a balanced life with newborns and kids. This new decision is definitely a step in the right direction. How it really helps is yet to be seen."
Some others had mixed feelings. Sudipta C said, "This would be a very positive move for relaunchers. We spend hours trying to draft our resumes so that our very relevant work experience stands out even if it's in the past. This kind of designation will help us on our career gap and highlight skills that are timeless.” But she also felt that “we have to remove the bias that people attach with the word ‘stay-at-home’. I just hope the title will not dissuade companies at first sight. "
However, there were those with mixed feelings. Maria G. and Deepika R. were a bit more skeptical. Maria said, "I am not sure how many people would use it. I, personally, would not use it because I think that it's a title that has no recognition (maybe only by people who have families or have been in the same situation) and it's mostly undervalued." Deepika felt it might even hurt potential return-to-work candidates. "It is fine as long as employers don't use it as an opportunity to filter out potential skilled candidates."
Lalita P felt that the ‘Stay-at-home’ status does not need a defense, it is just a phase". As Nupur K sums up, “Stay at home is being recognized as work. This is fantastic and it gives me satisfaction that my contribution (as that of many other parents) is being valued. It perfectly describes the years I have taken to be away from work." Amen to that.