Tips to help motivate you to return to work after becoming a mum or being on maternity.

Returning to work after maternity or being a full-time mum is an area, I have helped many women with, and I still often get asked where I start and what I can do.

The aim of this blog post is help you get some essential tips on what you can consider but also look at flexible working options especially if you are a new mum or still want to spend time with your children around your work.

Have a Skills Based CV

Base your CV on the skills you already have. Focus on the key skills you have and not necessarily your current experience. Especially if you have been on maternity or had a career gap. Many of the women I talk to worry about their career gaps. When you send out your CV make sure it highlights your skills so you have so you can make yourself marketable especially if you are struggling to be called for interviews and get the right jobs. To find out more about CVs and different formats please see post I wrote here

Flexible hours

Ask your employer about flexible hours. When you go for an interview ask if there are flexible working hours so that you can fit your job around being a mum or have an option to work from home on certain days. It’s better to know what your work options are as mum before you are offered a job. This way you can have a realistic outcome to your job-hunting journey. Look at businesses that have flexible work opportunities and help working mums. Talented Ladies club have a lot of really great information that can help you further with visit their site here.

Use your network

Look at the network you already have and ask around to see if they have flexible work opportunities you can apply for. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Ask family friends and people, you have previously worked with or are in your industry. If you need to broaden your network join Facebook groups, LinkedIn etc.  Please listen to an episode I did around why you should update your LinkedIn profile which could help you further with this here

It may seem difficult at first but if you this can be something that can really help. I have landed roles through contacts previously as have my clients. Also consider looking at in person networking opportunities like going to job fairs like the MumsNet event work fest even or joining groups on Meetup which will connect you with the right opportunities.

Childcare arrangements

Do you have arrangements in place to help around your working hours? This is an important point to consider because if you need to find a childminder you need to make sure you do this. If you have family near by who can look after or pick up your children from nursery or school this will make you available to jobs where you may need to work longer hours, or can’t necessarily do the school run yourself. I had a client I worked with once who had an amazing work opportunity but her office and child’s school were a too far away and she didn’t have any childcare in place. So, it’s important to consider this. As you need to be realistic about your working life and personal life and merge this in a way that suits your lifestyle.

Working for yourself

Take the time to think about going freelance or starting a business and don’t dismiss it. Especially if you are looking for flexible hours. If you feel you can’t quite return to a full-time job just yet working freelance or starting a business may be an excellent option for you. Platforms like digital mums help train mums up to have a career as a VA or work in social media and the digital world. If you already have a skill like accountancy etc maybe consider working as a freelancer or consider doing short contract roles. If you feel time is a bug bear think about hiring people to help you balance your home life cleaner, VA etc. I also give further tips around helping mums in the podcast episode “tips around restarting your career” to listen please go here

It’s also important to understand your maternity rights as a working mum see this blog post from bright HR that may give you some further insight into this https://www.brighthr.com/articles/leave-and-absence/maternity-leave/

If you want to return to work after becoming a mum you can and it’s about deciding what works for you and how you want to work. It may take a period of adjustment but I hope you take on board some of the tips shared in this post.

If you would like further support and accountability, please book a call with me here to discuss working together.

 

 

Do you feel like you are treated like a resource not a human being?

This was a statement given by someone when I was doing my research on why they were unhappy in their work "I feel like I am treated as a resource and not a human being" Is this how you feel when you at you work be honest even if its not something you really want to admit. I remember I felt a bit like this especially when external colleagues only phoned me to get information. I felt like a information resource and not a colleague.

So I wonder where does this stem from is it office mentality? Your boss? Or is just the fact that you unsatisfied and that work makes us feel this way. Sometimes its the actual people who we work with that make us feel this way and not the job itself. I remember working as a temp somewhere. One day my entire schedule had been changed without me be notified after two weeks of doing the same schedule. It took me nearly two hours to travel there,  I was then told that a new permanent staff member was given preference over me. I was annoyed but more then that I felt like I was treated as an extra part they could access when they needed me not because they actually wanted me there.

Feeling undervalued at work makes us feel all sorts of emotions. Appreciation we all need a little bit or a lot depending on how important this is to us as individuals. A very wise friend of mine once said "Don't expect anything from anyone". I think our expectations are in line with the appreciation we seek from others around us. Do you feel appreciated in you life and work? If the answer is no you may need to ask yourself why?

Many of the clients I speak to feel unappreciated at work. They feel like their managers don't really respect them and colleagues belittle them. Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately this is something I also felt when I  worked in schools. Some of the teachers I worked alongside didn't understand what I did as a careers adviser in the school. I hate to admit this but it did feel like they almost looked down on me. Especially if the word "connexions" was mentioned. At first I thought maybe this just happens to me but when I spoke to other colleagues many of them were actually in the same boat. I realised a lot of this was do with the individual school and how they appreciated careers advice. In one of the schools I in worked I had the headmaster give me referrals, he wanted me involved in the school and put his pupils first.

So what does appreciation feel like to you? Is it feeling valued and as though you are wanted and people are asking for your help. Are you recognised for the good work you do and given extra responsibility. Feeling like a resource goes hand in hand with feeling unappreciated. Give yourself the love you want. If you know deep in your gut your job and career undervalues you, and makes you feel like a resource ask yourself what you can do change this.Only you have the power to change but until you take the action to this it won't happen.

Wishing you all the best 

Soma x