CULVER CITY ( — Mothers preparing to return to the workforce now have a one-stop center to get them ready.

Women gathered at the inaugural “MomFair” Thursday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Culver City, where expert speakers shared tips on how to balance a nine-to-five with full-time motherhood.

Founder Laura Nix Gerson told KCAL9’s Stephanie Simmons the event was organized to help mothers deal with the sometimes overwhelming experience of finding new work or going through a career change.

“We want to make sure moms have access to resources – whether it’s they want to work from home and build their own business from home, or they want to build an online business – if they’re interested in returning to the workplace and they’re looking to meet with recruiters…” Gerson said.

One attendee, Claudia Aubourg, said she has placed her career on the back burner to focus on raising her son. He’s four and now she’s ready to go back to work.

“I want to start my own business,” she said.

But Claudia and others like her often have to navigate a minefield before finding the right job.

Working Moms expert Samantha Ettus said many women make mistakes while interviewing that can dramatically affect their chances of getting the position they’re after.

“It’s about how you tell your story. I meet stay-at-home moms all the time who, we say, ‘What do you do?’ and they say, ‘I’m a stay-at-home mom.’ Instead they should be saying, ‘I spent years in marketing and I’ve taken the last three years off with my kids,” Ettus said.

Women Network CEO Michelle Patterson urged mothers interested in re-entering the workforce to also be less hard on themselves.

“You’re running out the door, you’be got the lunches and next thing you know you have spit-up on you. It’s recognizing that it’s okay to not have everything perfect,” she said.

Women at the conference also learned about the importance of getting in shape both mentally and physically.

“When you’re sitting in an interview, or pitching a new client, or trying to close a deal for an advertiser, they can feel the energy from you. Having the endorphins running through your system and feeling energized really helps to convey how you present yourself,” Gerson said.

For more information about the event, visit the MomFair website.

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