With the price of childcare on the rise and a lack of accredited places, it’s not unusual for mums to take an extended leave of absence to look after their kids. However, the longer the time spent away, the harder it can be to get back into the workforce.
All it takes is a few months away before people start to worry they’ve become unemployable – or at the very least, that they’ve lost the skills they once had. These fears may be common, but they’re completely unfounded.
The reality is that after a period of absence from work, confidence becomes dented rather than ability declining.
For many women, the role of mom is so far removed from their professional career and working life that it takes a bit of time to remember what they are truly capable of. The good news is that these skills are not gone – they’re simply waiting to be rediscovered.
There’s no perfect time to return to work — often the decision will be driven by finances, or to coincide with a child’s transition to full-time school. Planning is key and there’s a lot to think about — for example, is a return to full-time work viable or a logistically impossible?
Alternatively, if part-time working is the preferred option, take some time to research the types of jobs and industries that are open to flexible working.
Tip 1 — Brush Up on Your Old Skills
If the option of returning to a previous career is preferred, there are some things that can help the transition back into employment. Many people who have had time out can feel as though they have missed out or that colleagues are overtaking them in terms of career progression.
The first step is always to take stock — digging out old appraisal forms and letters of recommendation is a great way of reflecting on our skillset. And when working in an industry like healthcare where standards are ever-changing, there are many ways to upskill, such as studying for an online healthcare management MSc.
Tip 2: Learn Some New Skills
If a return to a previous profession or career path isn’t an option due to limitations at home, or lapsed registrations, it’s time to reframe the new transferable skills acquired during your sabbatical.
Logistical skills and multi-tasking are all legitimately associated with being a stay at home parent and are often in demand from employers.
If a return to work means the opportunity to start down a new career path, then often a stint volunteering can help to provide the evidence needed on a CV to secure an interview and it’s easy to find free resources on volunteer opportunities online.
These are two top tips to help get you back into the workforce after you’ve had kids. Please add your own thoughts in the comments section.