Nothing can prepare you for having a baby, it’s a cliche, but it’s true. When it comes to starting a family nothing is certain, apart from the certainly that having a baby changes everything. I certainly wasn’t prepared for how much having my baby would change my outlook on my career… I’d been one of those overtly ambitious career women, with a Starbucks in one hand, a mobile phone in the other, skilfully weaving my way through the crowds to jump on the next Piccadilly to Euston. I’d been working my way up the career ladder for the past 10 years, working within Human Resources at a senior level for multi national and global companies. And I loved it!
………And then my son arrived and with him came the realisation that the job I’d put on pause would no longer work for me. During my maternity leave I got chatting to a LOT of mums, some had taken a few months maternity leave, others a longer career break. Some were dreading their return to work, others couldn’t wait to get back. Many needed to return to work but wanted to return with greater flexibility. A few fancied changing direction in their career or working for themselves.
While there’s great support out there for the pre and post natal journey, I wondered what support was on offer for mums in the months or years later when embarking on their journey of going back to work… the answer was… not a great deal! So, after I gave birth to my beautiful son, I gave birth to a completely different kind of baby… one I’m almost as crazy about… well… almost! Back in Business provides expert careers advice and support on going back to work, changing career and working for yourself.
Aimee’s 5 tips for returning to work;
- Put things into prospective & let go of guilt – every mum I’ve worked with feels guilty about something, whether its putting the kids into childcare, the mounting laundry or their conflicting priorities at work. But guilt serves no purpose. Think of all the positive things going back to work is bringing you & your family & try to focus on them.
- Rely on your support network – don’t feel you have to do everything alone, be open & honest with those around you and remember that we all have a support network. Whether a partner, family or perhaps a neighbour or fellow mummy friend. Discuss your options with yours & create back up plans for times of need.
- Establish some boundaries for a better work/life balance – many mums feel a constant tug of war between work & home life. Establish some boundaries that help to separate the two.
- Boost your confidence – going back to work after starting a family is a big transition & nerves are inevitable. Remember all the things you achieved at work before having children & focus on the additional transferable skills you’ve gained during your leave. Most importantly smile! Portraying a confident image, even if you don’t feel it, will soon get you back into the swing of things.
- Remember nothing is set in stone – if you return to work & find it really isn’t working for you & your family, look into other options. Identify why things aren’t working & what your ideal scenario is. Don’t be afraid to make a change.
Check out the ‘Back in Business’ website for more information