Without the right resources it can be difficult for mums who have returned from maternity leave to get back to their old job while handling the daunting new task of parenting, and the same goes if you are looking for a new career path and need to explain to potential employers the long gap in your CV from the time you spent at home raising your children. But do not despair! Here are some tips that will help you make the transition easier- and give yourself a pat in the back, because being a working parent isn’t easy!
Become your own boss!
If you want a new career, being self-employed also affords you the opportunity to work from home, and there are plenty of ideas you can choose from to express your creative potential through a successful career. You can set up an online crafting store and create your own hand-made products, for example, or train with online courses on your own schedule and get certified as a yoga instructor, professional gardener, a graphics or fashion designer or stylist so you can open your own store (real or online) and make your own hours!
There are plenty of online job opportunities for mums seeking a new work-from-home career, like freelance writing for companies and for news outlets, for creative writing projects or for professional blogs- you can even create your own blog based on your passion and help others with ideas and solutions in interior design/home decor, fashion, gardening, and many more and develop a loyal following.
Thanks to today’s technology, your job search will be easier than ever. The advances in IT technology have transformed the working environment and also the world of job hunting, so you can comfortably look through the various job advertisers and job sites from your sofa or on the bus or local café. Nifty applications like the Jobrapido app are helping users all over the world find the perfect career by delivering all your local job vacancies in one place – kind of like Google but they deliver only job vacancies!
If you’re seeking a new career try to find jobs that offer flexible or part-time hours. Jobs within a school such as a classroom assistant offer you the same working hours as your kid’s school days meaning you should be able to collect them at the gates, or perhaps office work such as admin or job sharing with another colleague might be the right thing for you. Remember to select the hours you are willing to work when searching for a job to be sure only suitable vacancies come up and you don’t end up slaving over your covering letter only to discover you’d never have been able to work those hours anyway.
If you are looking forward to going back to your old job, but are afraid that you may have missed out on latest upgrades in technology or services, then maternity is the perfect time to take some online courses and brush up on your skills—maybe adding a few more to your CV! There are plenty of online courses and certifications that can be followed virtually through many online universities and certified academic institutions, and you can work your study schedule around your day because the classes are recorded and can be viewed as many times as you want.
Get in touch with old colleagues and don’t forget to ask for advice! There is nothing better than a friendly shoulder to lean on and you can also contact some old friends from university who can point you to the right direction; they may know of some job openings somewhere. It might be a great opportunity to rekindle old friendships and even start a business together!
Another effective way of securing your old job even while on maternity leave is to stay in touch with your work colleagues! This will make your return much easier when you feel you are ready to start work again—and the best thing to do is always wait until you are ready and have created an effective schedule to work around your parenting. Staying connected even with your boss on an occasional basis will reassure him that you are still interested and enthusiastic in your old position.
Employers will sometimes take advantage of returning mothers so make sure you inform yourself on your legal rights as far as concerns flexible hours for school runs or emergencies and of course your health! There are legal statutes that thankfully defend working mothers who have been on maternity leave from discrimination or abuse, so resort to lawyer consultation if any problems arise or else try to come to a workable agreement with your boss.
Written in collaboration with Emily J