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Plenty of people can take long breaks in their careers, but moms are usually the ones doing this. You get pregnant, go on maternity leave, and then spend the next few years looking after the family. You intended on going back to work once maternity leave was over, but your heart & head believed staying home and being a full-time mother was the better choice.
Loads of moms do this, but there usually comes a time when you want to jump back into the working world. It can be out of necessity to earn more money for your family, or you just need a job to help with your mental health. Whatever the reason, you’re taking a big leap and making a massive life decision.
Going back to work after a long time away can be challenging for many reasons. Firstly, what job are you looking for?! Loads of other questions and issues can arise, which is why we’ve got some handy tips to help you transition back into the working world.
Tip 1: Figure out what you want to do
To begin, you need to figure out what you want to do for a living. Being a mom changes your perspective on life and can awaken new interests. Think about what you enjoy doing or what you think you’re good at. From here, find jobs that align with these skills/interests so you’re doing something that’s actually quite fun.
If you have trouble figuring out your interests or finding jobs that suit them, you can always take an online career assessment. The Campbell Strong Interest Inventory test is one of the most common, helping people match their interests with potential career opportunities. At the end of the day, you don’t want to return to work just to end up hating what you’re doing. If you’re going to make this move, you may as well enjoy it!
Tip 2: Update your resume with all of your current skills
It may have been a long time since you made a resume, so it’s going to be out of date. You should create a new one, making sure you have all of your old work history on there. At the same time, you need to fill this new resume with lots of new skills.
Think about it, being a mom is the hardest job in the world. You’ve done things over the last few months or years that you never could’ve done before. The skills you learn and harness as a mother can directly translate into the working world. For example, you’ve likely developed the following skills just by looking after your kids:
- Time management
All of these skills are valuable for recruiters and they’ll make you a hot prospect. Lots of moms assume that being out of work puts them at a disadvantage when really it could help them gain an advantage over others. You’ll have a resume or application form that’s full of essential skills – along with plenty of examples of them in action.
Tip 3: Settle on some essential requirements
If you’ve taken a long break from work, you’re going to be in a completely different personal situation than when you left. As a result, some of the old things you used to experience are no longer good enough for you – especially if you’re now a mother.
For instance, you used to work a standard 9-5 job, five days a week. It suited your life back then, but does it suit you now? You may need a job that allows more flexibility – perhaps you only work part-time hours, or maybe you can work from home. Working weekends could be completely out of the question as you need to spend time with your family.
Different people will have different concerns, and that’s okay. What matters is that you settle on some essential requirements before hunting for work. Think about things you’re not willing to negotiate on. This could be pay, it could be working hours – or it might be employee benefits. You don’t want to go back to work and end up in a situation where the job doesn’t fit your current lifestyle.
Look, the idea of going back to work after taking significant time off will seem scary. You’ll doubt yourself and wonder if it is the right thing to do. Be certain you’re doing this for the right reasons and then figure out what type of job suits you the best. Develop your skills while you can and call upon all the new things you learned while you were away. Finally, make sure you have some essential requirements that ensure you pick a job that suits your current life.