Having a baby is life-changing for any woman in just about every way possible, but this is particularly true when we are in the midst of a busy career. Our whole outlook on life has changed as we adapt to not only our new routine and responsibilities but also the changes which happen to us as people. For many women, the prospect of returning to the same career after such a huge shift in their world is a daunting and potentially uncomfortable one. However, it can also signal the dawn of a new era.
This could be your opportunity to reinvent your career and set yourself on a new path which will bring you greater fulfillment in your professional life to match the baby-shaped joy in your personal life.
Adapt Your Role to Suit Your New Lifestyle
If you are currently on maternity leave or you on good terms with a previous employer, you may be able to negotiate returning to the same role but on different terms. For example, you might be allowed to work flexible or reduced hours, to work from home on a part-time or full-time basis, or they may be able to offer freelance work. Create your ideal plan and present it to the organization in a way that they can’t resist. If they want to retain the best people, they may just jump at your offer.
Find a New Role in the Same Organization
You may be keen to return to the same organization but no so thrilled about returning to exactly the same role. If this is the case for you, why not investigate the possibility of moving to a new position? You may be able to find a role which is a better match for your skills and interests and – if you’re really lucky – one which offers more flexibility too.
Move to a New Organization
Some companies and/or careers just aren’t suited to people with family commitments because of the long hours, high levels of stress, and inflexible schedule. If this sounds like the company you’ll be returning to, it may be time to consider a sideways move. There are plenty of organizations which are embracing the benefits of flexible hours and remote working to enable employees to achieve a healthier work-life balance. You may have to take a pay cut in return for the benefits, but the reward of more quality time with your child is invaluable.
Restart Your Career
For some women, the thought of returning to their previous career fills them with dread or boredom. If this sounds like you, don’t presume that it’s too late to start again. Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, there is no reason why you can’t take this chance to reinvent yourself and retrain. For example, after becoming mothers for the first time, many women experience a deep need to help others to fulfill their potential, to nurture self-improvement, or to support them through difficult times. A logical next step for these women is to become a counsellor.
Alternatively, some people take a leap and try to turn their hobby or passion into a paying career. This could be writing, photography, sales, marketing, acting, crafts, or anything else for that matter, as long as it gets you motivated in the morning. This may be one of the biggest leaps of all, but many women find that maternity leave and the watershed moment of becoming a mother gives them the brain space and motivation to start their own business. It’s by no means an easy road, but being your own boss can provide the flexibility, creativity, and sense of ownership which combine to make a fulfilling career.