I work so much with clients in career flux that I thought it would be a great idea to publish a post on career change after the birth of a child. Since I’m a dude, albeit a dad of five kids, I’m not the best person, er…guy, to write that post.
This is a guest post from my friend Emma Anderson in Australia. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it helps. Feel free to write in the comments below and contact her directly if you’d like. Her bio is at the end.
Going back into the Workforce with Confidence after Having a Baby
One of the biggest challenges for any new mother is returning into the workforce after she has given birth. You may think you have lost all of your old skills, yet you will find you have retained these, and you have also picked up some new ones along the way.
Your multi-tasking and time management skills will have improved as they do with most mothers, and your communication skills will have received a huge boost also.
If you are returning to work for your old employer, this can be slightly easier than if you have found a new position within a new company. There will still be a few hurdles to clear, yet once you have re-connected with your old boss and work colleagues, things should come flooding back.
When looking for new positions, your resume should be updated, and rather having a space between dates, label this section as “parental leave.” This is more than enough to explain the gap on your CV. Prospective employers will also see this rather than thinking you have been unemployable for whatever period you have been out of work.
While you are away from work, you can take the opportunity to brush up on your skills, or learn some new ones. There are more than enough options on the internet to teach you how to do something related to your old career or something new. LinkedIn can also be a great benefit, many potential employers will see you are up to date with how the world is changing. There are also many potential employers who use LinkedIn to find potential employees.
Make the Most of Your Time Off
Today there are so many options for stay at home mothers. There are freelance sites where there are various positions available, or you can be more specific in the sort of part-time work you wish to do. Many of these positions are flexible enough to provide you with an excellent balance of home life and rearing your children, to earning enough to contribute to the household expenses.
You may even find, the workplace you are thinking of entering back into, is your home, and you have no reason to approach your old, or a new prospective employer if you so wish.
Some of the positions available are Online ESL (English as Second Language) teachers, transcribers, virtual assistants, blog or content writers and one that you may find you have a knack for while you are updating yours, resume writing services are often required.
Once a mother goes back to work, they may not find it as easy as they expected. They may have all the enthusiasm in the world, yet trying to find that job, and the personal life balance can cause a great deal of inner turmoil.
As a result of this, a returning mother can often feel like they are failing on many different levels, both at home and at work. This can be a very challenging experience for many women who are returning to work to go through.
Much of this experience comes from the woman’s confidence in her abilities. The decision for a woman to give up work to have a baby is difficult enough, and in most cases is a harder decision than the one to go back to work.
Commitment and determination are qualities that should be looked upon and applauded, rather than the gap in your resume, and ultimately they are more valuable to any employer.
Stay Up to Date
If you wish to return to your old career, it is important to remain up to date with how things have changed since you have been away. LinkedIn has been mentioned, yet it is also important to make sure your other professional social media accounts are up to date, Facebook and Twitter being the main two.
Any new skills you acquire while you have been away from the workplace can be added to your current resume. Any decent employer will consider these far more than the fact you had time off to have a baby.
Many women have taken years away from work, yet they have prepared in advance for their return. This can result in a few family conversations to explain to your children (if they are old enough) so they understand your intentions.
If you have secured a position and have the chance of working flexible hours, a conversation with your employer is advised to iron out what options are available, and what can work best for the both of you.
The Work Environment
The change in environment can be one of the biggest challenges for returning mothers. For the period they have been away, they have not been exposed to life in the office and daily communication with work colleagues.
There will have been a great extent of isolation from the outside world, and this can be as difficult to get the hang of, as the work itself.
For many women returning to work, the first two to three months can seem a struggle, and it can for many, take up to six months to find their professional and home rhythm.
No matter which route you take, there is always going to be some apprehension and nerves creeping in.
Being out of work and then jumping straight back in is no easy task. The main thing to remember is you have only been out of work to raise a family, which is much harder and demanding than taking on the task of going back to the workplace.
It might take a little time for you to get back into the full swing of things, but you can quickly regain your confidence and hold your head up high.
Any job position you take cannot be any harder than rearing a newborn baby, what other job makes you get up in the middle of the night with little thanks or gratitude?
Stand proud in your achievements and enter the workplace full of confidence. You are a mother after all, and you can do this. No sweat.
Emma Anderson is the head resume writer at Job Frog Resumes – www.jobfrog.com.au . She balances taking care of her energetic 3 year old girl, her hungry husband, work career and social life – just managing to fit sleep in there somewhere.
Twitter – @jobfrogresumes
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JobFrogResumes/