Raising your children is the most rewarding and wonderful journey. But there reaches a point when many women feel ready to return to the workplace. When this happens is entirely up to you.
You may feel ready within months of having your baby, or you may want to wait until your children are at school.
Returning to work after being a full-time mum is a huge decision and can be somewhat overwhelming. If you are a mother thinking about returning to work, our tips may help you.
Figure Out What You Want
Returning to work after having a long time out of your career is not a simple process. So, before you dive headfirst into the job application process, it’s best to figure out exactly what you want from your career.
Are you sure you want to go back into your previous career and job role? Or has motherhood changed what you want to do in your career? Would you prefer to look into a new career or job role?
There is also the question of hours. Would you like to start part-time and work your way up to a full-time role as you get back into the swing of things? Or are you ready to jump straight into a full-time job? Is this manageable with your children?
Will you need flexible working hours to work around your family commitments? How far are you willing to travel? You also need to think about which job benefits are important to you. Is time off over the festive period important? Would you prefer an employer that offers help with childcare?
Once you have pinned down exactly what you want from your return to work, it will be much easier to whittle down job roles and companies suitable for you.
Update Your Application Materials
If it’s been a while since you last applied for a job, you must update your CV and cover letter. Your CV will have to include the gap in your career. And your cover letter should be tailored to each job role and company you apply for.
You should also update your social media platforms. Many people prefer to keep their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms private when applying for jobs, as many employers run a social media check. Your LinkedIn should be updated with your qualifications, skills and achievements. You can also change it to display that you are currently seeking work.
Be Realistic About The Process
Finding a new job and going through the application stage is a lengthy and often frustrating process for anyone. For those who have been out of work for months or years, this process can be even longer.
Set realistic expectations before you start the application process. And try to be patient and persistent. You will get rejections, but don’t be disheartened. The jobs market is a challenging place to be right now, particularly with unemployment rates rapidly rising due to COVID-19.
Create A Job Search Plan
Creating a job search plan will help get you ahead. Think about which job websites, if any, you are going to use. As well as using job websites, seek out companies you believe you would like to work for and keep an eye on their careers page. Or email them directly expressing your interest in working for their company.
In addition, reach out to people who may be able to help. After all, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know! Chat to ex-colleagues, friends, neighbours etc. or anyone who may know of a job and may be able to recommend you.
You may also want to think about updating your skills. Are there any refresher courses you could take to improve your CV? Or perhaps seeking help from a recruitment agency may be beneficial.
Start Thinking With A Professional Mindset
Being a mum is truly incredible. But if want to get back to your career, you need to get out of that “mum mindset” and into your business professional mindset. Throughout the application and interview process, you are going to have to sell yourself as a professional and experienced candidate.
You are, after all, more than a mother. You have skills, qualifications, achievement, and goals for your future.
To help get yourself in the right frame of mind, practice talking to an employer. How are you going to describe yourself? Which of your skills are you going to highlight? Which qualifications or professional achievements do you want to discuss? What makes you suitable for the job role?
It may seem unusual to talk out loud, but it will give you much needed practice for any interviews you may have.
Prepare For Tough Questions
Interviews are nerve-wracking at the best of times. And attending an interview when returning to work after raising children may be daunting. But preparation will help! Research the type of questions you may be asked. And always be prepared for the tough questions.
You may be asked about your plans for childcare. Or you may be expected to explain why you’ve chose now to go back to work. Always be clear and honest about why you’ve had time off and explain how your situation has changed.
You should also demonstrate that you have kept your knowledge up to date during your time off.
Set Boundaries For Yourself And Your Family
To ensure you and your potential future employer are on the same page, it is important to set boundaries from the off. Otherwise, your new employer may have expectations of you that you cannot live up to. This can impact your mental health as well as your job.
For example, if you require flexible hours to work around your family commitments, outline this in your interview. Setting boundaries will ensure yourself and your employer start on the best possible path and have a healthy professional relationship.
Get In Touch
Mindful Partners is a recruitment agency with a soul. If you have been out of work with mental ill-health and are ready to get back into a career you love, get in touch. We will provide intensive ongoing support to help you ease into your new job.
Alternatively, if you are an employer and would like to find out more about partnering with Mindful Partners to recruit staff and create a mentally healthy workplace, please get in touch.