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Career Services Director Offers Tips for Parents

Lynn Brown, director of the career services & internships office, offered insightful advice for parents returning to the workforce in a recent Oregonian article.

In addition to the tips provided in the article, Brown advises: "Certificate programs are really a smart choice for upgrading skills quickly, as a stand-alone or as part of completing a degree."

Excerpt from an article by Amy Wang in The Oregonian, June 3, 2013.

"It's a really good time to re-enter the job market," says Lynn Brown, director of Marylhurst University's Office of Career Services & Internships.

Statewide, the unemployment rate has been falling this spring, from 8.2 percent in March to 8 percent in April. In the Portland area, the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.5 percent, according to the most recent monthly report from the Oregon Employment Department.

Brown says she's noticed job postings from Oregon Public Broadcasting, Nike, Adidas and Intel recently. She's also seen "a nice influx" of mid-level coordinator positions at employers such as Loaves & Fishes and Outside In.

The positions she's seeing tend to be what she calls "creative jobs," requiring strong verbal and communications skills from people who don't want to do the same thing every day and who are up for creative challenges.

"People are looking for unique people to hire and fill a number of roles where you can do more than one thing," Brown says. "The recruiters we work with call it flexitude."

What if much of your "flexitude" over the past five years has consisted of sending out emails about who's bringing what to Teacher Appreciation Night while simultaneously folding the laundry and helping a preschooler build a cardboard box city?

"What's interesting is that when it comes to interviewing, most people are very understanding about the fact that you've taken time off to be a parent. I think it's a really positive thing," Brown says. "But up until the time you're in front of someone ... there's some pitfalls. It's like you've been out of the game."

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