It can be very daunting to go back to work after having a baby and especially so if you have taken an extended leave from work to raise your children. Childcare costs can seem overwhelming and the mere thought of being away from your child can seem unbearable. Plus, all of this is before you start to imagine how exactly you will feel back in an office or professional environment after spending your time with kids for the past few years. Despite this all being extremely daunting, it is doable and you’ve already faced childbirth, potty training and the terrible twos- so you should be ready to take on anything!
For the mums out here who are going back to work after a long career break – here are a couple things to keep in mind…
Remember that you have more to offer than you may think!
Sure, the work world has shifted since you were last there but that does not mean that you have less to offer. The skills you have as a mum (time management, especially) and that you built up before becoming a parent make a wonderful combination to put you in a competitive spot in the workforce. If there are new skills and certificates to learn in your industry or a new one that you would like to go into, go ahead and update your skills! The most important thing is not to question yourself. Everyone will always have something new to learn and will always have something wonderful to offer. You have the experience of being a mum that has helped you develop and grow in more ways than you can probably even imagine at this moment.
It does not need to be what it was before.
It is easy to get back into old habits, but going back expecting it to be the same as when you left is unlikely to happen. It can be exciting and nerve-wracking to get back to work, but take it for what it is now. Work with what you have now and do not worry about it being exactly what it was before. Change is good and finding the right balance for where you are at now will make you, your family and your employer happier in the long run.
Ask for a flexible work schedule.
Once you know what your goals are and what works best with your family’s schedule, it is time to address what your work schedule will work like. It will certainly be helpful to be flexible during this aspect of your career, but also be fair to yourself. After all, it would be quite difficult to transition into working only to have too many hours or too long of a commute. So be sure you know your rights and ask for a flexible work schedule. It is definitely worth asking!
Confidence is key and you feel confident when you are prepared. You are not alone in this transition. Talk with your friends and family about your return to work and and your questions/concerns. There are also large communities online where people share their experiences. Plus, if you feel a bit out of the loop in the business world you can use the blogs on jobsites, such as the Jobrapido blog, which is full of articles offering tips and advice for people looking for jobs in many different fields.
Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself! Everyone is nervous before going back to work. You will find you can do so much more than maybe you ever thought and with you and your family in mind, you will find a new routine that works for everyone.
Guest post by Emily Jones