“Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock”… That is what I feel people are thinking when they look at me these days, that I am a time bomb that’s about to go off because I am nearly 30 and newly married which surely means I am just a matter of months away from falling pregnant and ending my professional career… right??
I am an independent, successful and highly motivated woman who takes a great deal of pride at being good at what I do. The thought of having a child scares me to death but I am not naïve to the fact that it will happen for me one day soon.
However I am confident that having a child won’t define me, I will be just like my own Mother and will want to get back to work and continue my career once I am finished having my babies. My Mum was able to raise three children whilst working as a successful Real Estate Agent and I see no reason why I won’t continue my success purely because my personal circumstances have changed.
All this ticking and tocking has got me thinking about how it is going to be when I decide that I want to come back to work from having children. I feel lucky that I work in the recruitment industry and am somewhat educated in what I will need to do when this time comes.
In turn this has got me thinking about all of those wonderfully skilled career woman who feel overwhelmed and confused about how to get their careers back on track without compromising their family life.
I have come up with 5 tips that may assist woman who are looking to get back into the workforce:
It is extremely important to be organised in your private life so you can be organised in your professional life.
If you go to an interview without a clear idea of the days and hours that you can work (if you are seeking part time), or you haven’t figured out who is going to care for the children when you are at work it will show a lack of commitment and cause the employer to be uneasy about your commitment to work.
Most employers are happy to employ return to work mothers but no employer is going to employ someone that they do not feel is reliable. If you are not organised you will come off unreliable.
Do not overcommit yourself just to get the job. You do not want to commit to a position just to get your foot in the door and then start missing out on important milestones in your children’s lives.
You do not want either of your lives, professional and personal clashing in anyway. Part of this goes back to point one, being organised. Work life balance is important for everyone but for a woman with young children it is even more important. Make sure you have balance in both worlds.
This is a tough point for me to be making because in some cases I believe so strongly that it shouldn’t be a point at all… But I am a realist and if I am going to help people then it needs to be said.
Adjusting your expectations both on position level and salary is important. This may not be the case if you are returning to a previous employer from Maternity Leave but if you are re-entering the workforce and looking for a new position then it is crucial to getting your career back on track.
Remember part time roles are part time for a reason, generally there is not enough of a workload for someone full time and with a smaller workload comes a smaller salary.
Research is key. In the time that you have had off things may have changed in the jobs sector. Salaries may have taken a dive, some positions may not be in high demand, the economy is restricting employers from hiring.
There are a number of factors that affect the job market and you if you go into the search process clear on the current conditions it will only assist you in being realistic with your expectations.
This is the single most important point of all five. It doesn’t matter if you are an EA to the CEO or a Waitress, to get back into the workforce you MUST network. Create yourself a LinkedIn profile, update your profile on Seek, speak to friends, family, old colleagues, acquaintances and be active on social media.
The more people that know you are looking to get back into the workforce the better chance you have of hearing about opportunities. Do not under estimate the power of word of mouth.
I hope these tips give mums wanting to get back out there and even future mums like myself the knowledge and security to know that just because you’ve had kids doesn’t mean you can’t get back out there!
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