I always knew that I would get itchy feet being on maternity leave. One minute you’re a fierce, confident leader, a force to be reckoned with; next minute you’re home alone covered in baby sick.
But who says just because you’ve had a baby you are no longer a force to be reckoned with? Why, after being off work on maternity leave should you feel any less adequate or confident in your ability to perform your job? If anything, what I learnt during maternity leave is that you don’t mess with mumma!!
Funnily enough, even with all of the worries of motherhood I spent most of my last few months worried about work. I knew returning to my previous leadership role in the hospitality industry was out of the question, there was little to no flexibility and ultimately my primary focus in life had changed. Now I just needed someone to see past my CV and see me for what I can bring to the table; which is when I met Purplefish! A company that supports working mums, offers flexible working and in such a small space of time has taught me that being a parent should in no way impact your career.
So, here are my top tips for smashing that career change after having a baby!
Be open minded about changing career path
Sometimes, just sometimes what used to be a perfect fit isn’t a perfect fit anymore, and that’s ok! Your primary focus in life has changed and I can guarantee your skills and talents are transferrable to a new role, even a whole new industry. This is your chance to explore your options, there are plenty of recruitment agencies out there who are ready to help you onto your next journey so do your research and get in touch with them!
Lay your cards on the table
Returning to work after having a baby is nothing to be ashamed about, if anything you should be shouting from the rooftops about your incredible achievement. Unfortunately, you may face the ‘working mum’ stigma whilst applying for new jobs, whatever you do, do not take this personally. A survey by workingmums.co.uk shows that we are in fact harder working as we feel we have more to prove, so their loss! Be open and honest in the application and interview stages, you need to find out early if the employer is open to flexible working or any requests you may have, if they’re not, it’s not the job for you!
As much as this is a big change for you, ultimately it is a massive change for the little ones. Start looking into nurseries/ childminders early and be sure to book your child in for some settling in sessions. This way you can sit across the road from the nursery with a cuppa whilst they get used to their surroundings and their new carers. Being worried about leaving your child in the care of someone else is inevitable but I promise it does get easier; you’ll soon relish your found independence.
Preparation is key
This is the part I tell you to meal plan, schedule a cleaning rota at home, prepare everyone’s clothes and bags the night before but that would make me the biggest hypocrite ever. Do whatever fit’s for you and your family. Start this new journey as you mean to go on, don’t hold yourself to unrealistic goals as that just adds unnecessary stress. Trust me, no one’s judging you on your meal plans.
Be kind to yourself
Finally, the truth is, it’s perfectly ok not to be ok! There are always going to be times when the going gets tough. Don’t ever feel guilty and surround yourself with a network of people that support and value you.