Is There An Easy Way to Return to Your Career After a Baby?
If you’re a new mum, congratulations! Maternity leave is a very exciting (and exhausting!) time filled with new learning opportunities.
One of the things you may discover is how you really feel about your career. Once you come through the initial love-blindness for your new little one, you may find yourself wondering how things are going at the office, or whether your temporary replacement is doing things the way you like. Perhaps it dawns on you that you’re dreading your return…
Regardless of how you feel about your job, returning to your career after maternity leave is never going to be easy. This can be a very emotional time and you may find it difficult to get your head around being separated from your baby. There are also a lot of very practical factors to consider including:
Who is going to care for your child while you’re at work
How you’re going to manage drop-offs
What you’ll do in case of illness
Whether you have training to catch up on
Whether your career goals and aspirations have changed
This last point is key. You may have experienced a perspective change as a new parent and this could mean you want more, or less, from your career than you did before.
Might you want to cut down hours? Could flexible working be more valuable to you? Will you expect more satisfaction from your job in return for spending time away from your baby? Will you need to earn more to meet the cost of having a family? Might you be looking for a way to better balance work and life?
If these questions are resonating with you, you might want to do a bit of soul searching before you commit to returning to your pre-baby job. Maternity leave can be a great time to reassess your career and how it’s working for you, rather than the other way round. You might decide to make your time off a crossroads in your career and go back to a different job. You could even think about returning to a different kind of work entirely.
This might interest you: it’s estimated that there are 300,000 ‘mumpreneurs’ in the UK. This number is on the rise and you might want to get in on the action! Self employment has its down sides, but it does allow you to build a job around your other responsibilities. Many ‘mumpreneurs’ even work from home around their children. Not only does this mean that they can maximise the quality time they spend with their family, it can also significantly cut the cost of childcare.
However you decide to return to work after maternity leave, do prepare yourself for an uncomfortable adjustment. Your priorities will have shifted dramatically and you may need to think carefully about whether it’s time to make some career changes.
If we’ve prompted you to have a deep think, why not find out more about taking control of your career and future life prospects?
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