Mums – want to return to work?
5 steps to making flexible work a reality
Have you taken a career break to look after your children but now feel the time is right for a new challenge? Do you struggle to juggle the demands of a full time job with those of a young family and dream of a more flexible role?
Career and confidence coach Fiona Clark, founder of Inspired Mums, gives her top tips to help mums return to the workplace and find the perfect work life balance.
1. Take your time
Returning to the world of work and finding a flexible and fulfilling career is no quick fix. I often hear mums say ‘I’ll do anything as long as it fits around the kids’ only to find they get stuck in a job which bores and demotivates them. Take the time to work out what you want from your career, draw on previous experience to identify what really motivates you.
2. Keep positive
Re-entering the workplace can be daunting for mums who have had a career break. Remember what you were like B.C. (before children) – when you had a great day at work, what were you doing? What are your natural strengths and attributes? Now, think of all the ways you have developed since you’ve had children. It may be that you’re more self-confident, better at juggling responsibilities and communicating with people, all skills that will be valuable to you in your new role.
3. Do your research
Once you have an idea of what it is you want to do, make sure you research it thoroughly. Research will help you confirm whether you are on the right path so that you end up with a job that fulfills and motivates you. Below are some of the key areas to look into:
• Use the internet to research employment prospects – check salary expectations, career progression and what qualifications and experience are needed for your chosen career.
• Work experience or work-shadowing can be an invaluable way of finding out more about a specific career. It will also help you talk convincingly in interviews about why you have chosen that career path.
• Take a part-time or temporary contract – even if it’s a more junior role than you would ultimately like – it will give you useful insights and contacts as well as updating your C.V.
• If you want to retrain, take the time to speak to the course providers to find out what is involved and what your course will lead to at the end of the qualification.
4. Don’t forget to network
Networking is a key way of researching and securing flexible roles – whether it’s in person, talking to ex-colleagues and friends of friends, or via social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for extending your contacts and marketing yourself so make sure you update your profile so you can reach people in your target organisations.
5. Mind the C.V. gap
If, like so many of the mums I coach, you worry with about the gaps in your CV – don’t panic! Instead remember you haven’t lost any skills – simply gained a few more! Think of the experience you have gained since you have had children – whether it’s volunteering at school or organising a charity event – and include any skills that match the requirements of the advertised role in your CV.
If you would like a free consultation with Fiona to talk about how she can help you re-enter the workplace and find a fulfilling and family friendly role, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07789 597209 or visit www.inspiredmums.co.uk