Top Tips for Returning To Work

Transitioning from being a stay-at-home mum back to a working woman can be hard, but it is possible to have a career after taking a break out of work; you just need some advice and motivation to get on the right path.

There’s no need to regret your decision when looking to head back into the workplace. Being a full-time mum is one of the most important jobs in the world, bringing a new human in the world and raising the next generation of adults. However, now that your children may be old enough to go to school or fend for themselves, it may be time to re-enter the workforce. Although searching for a new job may seem daunting at first, these top tips will help you begin your back-to-work journey successfully.

Self-assess

Before heading back to work, it is important to ask yourself the question: “Why do I want to go back to work?” When you become a mum, you experience a shift in your priorities and values. Many women don’t want to go back to the high-powered, high-stress job they had before having children. This shift in priorities may mean pursuing an entirely new career, because as a mum you worry more about flexibility and work-life balance, rather than a large pay-check and ‘fancy’ job.

Whether you have been out of the office for a couple of years, or 10, it is crucial to think carefully about what exactly you want to get out of returning to work. For example, are you heading back for the money, to have more of a social life, or to explore a career that interests you? Take your time to figure out what matters most to you in your next job – don’t rush.

Explore your interests

What do you want to spend the rest of your working life doing? Most parents taking time off to spend time with their children find it a great time to explore different interests and career paths, by volunteering and learning, perhaps through online courses.

It is worth getting in touch with people you know that work in fields that interest you, and ask them any questions you may have. How did they get into the job, and what skills do they need on a daily basis? If there are any skills you may not have encountered before, it may be wise to volunteer at a non-profit organisation, or take up a course. Prince2 project management training is a good course to take if you wish to take on a leadership role, no matter what the industry.

Stay in touch

Thinking about going back to work often means calling on old work colleagues to find out if there is any work available, so it is important to ensure you keep in contact. If they don’t have any jobs to offer you, they may know of other people in the industry who you can talk to and network with. This can either be in person, or through social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, but nothing quite beats meeting up for a coffee in person to get the most out of ‘networking’.

Update your CV

Once you have figured out what you want to do, and have begun the appropriate actions to put you in good stead to a potential employer, it is time to update your CV. Being a stay-at-home mum, it is likely that you have a significant gap in your CV, when you were taking time to care for your children. But it is important to convey, in your CV, that this time was spent learning new skills, as well as highlighting the experience you have acquired whilst taking a career break, such as volunteering at a company, or serving as a school governor.

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