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For any mums returning to work after a period of time spent looking after a baby, it can be really hard knowing where to start.


 

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You know you need to make the transition from full-time mum back into the workforce, but how do you do it without stressing yourself out?

I have some serious new found respect for Mums everywhere. Super Mums in every sense of the word!

Would you accept a job for which you don’t have any training, qualifications or skills? The working hours for which are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? With no lunch breaks, tea breaks or holiday entitlement? For zero pay? Starting the second after the most traumatic physical experience you will ever endure? Mums everywhere have that job. Respect.

My partner and I have just had our first baby. We are just about getting used to the crazy set up of our new life and we are both really enjoying it (despite the sleep deprivation!).

In my career as a recruiter, I have been in the situation countless times where I have seen Mums who have spent some time away from work looking after a baby and who then struggle to get back into the workforce.

It’s always heartbreaking to see and it can be such a stressful time for anyone in that situation.

The length of time you have been out of work caring for your baby can vary greatly. In some cases it can be just a few months, in other cases it can be several years since you were last gainfully employed.

Irrespective of the length of time since you were last in work, however, there are a few things to bear in mind whilst you are at home being a full time mum.

Things that should help make the transition back to work as smooth as possible:

1. Keep up appearances

The network that you have spent years cultivating is going to prove invaluable for you when you eventually return to work.

One of the main reasons for this is that any potential employer will want to speak to at least two referees when deciding whether or not to offer you a job.

So maintain contact with old work colleagues, friends and people you know in the industry. You can do this all online, it doesn’t have to be a significant investment of your already very limited supply of time and energy. Keeping up ‘appearances’ and maintaining your network won’t be high on your list of priorities when you are away from the office, however, it will pay dividends for any mums returning to work.

2. Identify any gaps in your skills

You may have been out of the office for a significant period of time. If that is the case, things may have changed in your line of work. This is something a lot of mums returning to work tend to overlook. Your skills may need updating and you may need to brush up on a few things before you start applying for jobs. Take some time to speak to people in your network to get their advice on any gaps you need to fill. This should make a huge difference when you eventually start interviewing for new jobs.

3. Identify the right job for you

Your situation may have changed to such an extent that the thought of returning to the same line of work is no longer palatable for you, and that’s OK.

Mums returning to work may need part time work or a more flexible working situation. The most important thing is to identify a job that fits your current situation.

You never know, that might represent a change in career entirely! If that is the case, you will need to put a plan in place to make the leap to something new, whatever that may be.

4. Explain the gap in your CV

Just be honest. You’ve had a baby! You are a Mum. You don’t need to say anything other than that on your CV.

Employers should in no way discriminate against anyone who has been out of work because they have been caring for a baby.

I have seen some instances in my career where Mums returning to work do not explain the gap in their employment properly, and that can be a really bad thing because if there is any ambiguity at all, employers will back away from you very quickly.

5. Get some help if you need it

There are lots of resources out there to help mums returning to work, both at a government level and in the private sector.

If you need help with your CV or if you are a bit nervous about going to an interview after so long, get some professional help if you need it.

Speak to your friends, they will be able to offer some sound advice as there are lots of women in your shoes going through the same thing!

Going back to work after having a baby can be stressful and intimidating. The seemingly mammoth task of finding a new job after so long out of the workforce can seem daunting, however, there are things you can do whilst you are at home caring for your baby that will make the transition from full time mum and back to work as smooth as possible.

But don’t sweat it, you’ve got this. After all, you are no ordinary Mum…you are a Super Mum!

Do you have any other tips on returning to work? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • These are some good points but nothing will work if you don’t have confidence in yourself.

    Reply

  • And the last point should be, have confidence in yourself! So many mums seem to lose their confidence being away from the workplace but remember, mum’s are the best multitaskers and able to prioritise things fabulously as well.

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  • It’s often not what you know, but who you know. I think Mums are the best workers – they can multi-task, they don’t waste time, they maximise every hour at work. I’d hire a Mum every time.

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  • Thankyou for this read. I’m planning to go back to work after 8 years now. As much as I’m excited, I find it very daunting too with lots of what if’s. Thankyou for those advice????

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  • Was difficult to return to work after having my four children and 8 years without a job. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Reply

  • I’m grateful for this post. Although I began my leave in November, I’m due to return in April to a casual position and work is not guaranteed. I’m nervous about returning and leaving my baby girl. I work in childcare and was permanent when I had my son, so he came with me when I returned there. I’m not sure that it’ll be an option this time around

    Reply

  • I think my first interview after having my twins and looking for work was my hardest ever.

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  • Really great information! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Reply

  • Good luck to any mummies starting back to work after mat leave or time off! There are some really great hints in this article.

    Reply

  • Thankyou for this article, im starting my own small business soon and these hints are great

    Reply

  • Thanks for all your comments! Glad you enjoyed the article… Chris

    Reply

  • I have a question. I am looking to do some form of employment from home… what options are out there for Mum’s at home?? And how would I make myself known??


    • maybe pose this as a separate questions to get more views.



      • There are lots of options out there for Mums who want to work from home… There are a lot of variables however….

    Reply

  • I got back into the workforce after 7 years being a full time mum with 4 children in the days before the internet, facebook, linkedin, etc. in a different city from where I had been previously employed.
    During my seven years at home, I helped out at the local school as a purchaser for the tuck-shop, and also as secretary/treasurer for the P & C. I also became treasurer for my son’s Scout Group and my daughter’s Brownie Group and assisted in fund raising. My husband ran a small business and I helped with the financial side of that.
    So I could state on my resume that during the past 7 years I had done Accounts Receivable, Purchasing, Accounting, Accounts Payable, Secretarial and general Treasury work.
    I got The School Principal to give me a reference along with the Scout Group and Girl Guides Presidents and also got some references from the school tuck-shop suppliers about how efficient and diplomatic I was to deal with. I also got the bank managers to supply references that said I was a capable Treasurer who had never had an auditing problem.
    The first position I applied for, I was hired – and they were wonderful bosses to me and appreciated what I was able to bring to the work force.
    It can be done – you just have to have the will to make it happen.
    Hope this might help some of the hopefuls out there to turn their life around – as mums we do immeasurable tasks – we just have to show the employer we are capable.

    Reply

  • Thank you for the helpful advice and tips.

    Reply

  • Good tips. I agree with number 1 too, think about Linkeldin as well !

    Reply

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