Readiness to work is one thing, but for many of us, transforming that willingness into a ‘reality’, can be another! Have you found that your mind shouts “go”, but your heart, body, and emotions whisper “stay”?
When it comes to moving back into the workforce, there are so many elements at play – energy levels, budgets for child-care, non-elicited opinions of friends and family, and the big one…confidence levels. We get so immersed in the fairy tale that is motherhood that we lose touch with our ‘professional identity’, and find ourselves in a tug of war between the complexities of the spirit – ”I’d really like to work now, but…”
If you’re smiling to yourself as you read this, and can finish that sentence, here are 5 tips to help you cut through the mental chaos, and turn your desire into a workable reality.
1) Review your professional strengths
Having been immersed in a world of nappies, breastfeeding and sleepless nights, any level of professional confidence can seem hard to conjure up and the mere thought of interviewing for a job gives us shivers. Other than being familiar with the price of prams, what do we have to offer?
The answer is “Plenty”, but you may need to channel the pre-parenthood-you to remember the details. Remember your passions, talents, and all the traits and characteristics that make you both YOU, and also a great employee. List them and bring them back into your conscious being to reintegrate them with the beautiful Mum that you are now.
2) Shift unproductive emotions
Some of our feelings are positive and serve to move us forward toward our goal, (e.g. excitement) whereas others can deter us from succeeding (e.g. low confidence). Take a few minutes to explore what’s going on in your head and heart and write down the details.
Circle the emotions you think might be holding you back and experiment with finding a more positive interpretation for each one, an example is below. Repeat your new thinking for days, over and over again in your head until it’s your new default mindset.
Current unproductive thinking: “I don’t know what professional value I hold – I feel so removed from that world.”
New productive thinking: “I have a lot to offer an employer and once I’m back in a working environment I’ll adjust quickly to that world again.”
3) Create a vision
Next we need to gain crystal clarity about what it is that we want – what type of work, how many hours, where, with who? Use your imagination to visualise it, as if you were sitting in a movie theatre. See yourself at your job, then returning home to find your happy, healthy child running to you for a big hug. If you can visualise it, you can make it real. What we ‘think about’ with vivid detail and passionate intention, functions as a catalyst for our real life experience.
4) Build a strategy
Now that you have a picture of what you want, it’s time to create a plan to make it happen. List all the things that you could do, large or small, to begin the process. Various steps to take toward finding the job, refreshing your CV, sourcing a solution for child-care, organising the wardrobe that you’ll need, transport plans etc.
5) Get started
And now, each day, take some action based on your strategy. It doesn’t have to be anything significant, perhaps just an enquiring phone call, but know that all small steps taken with perseverance, will eventually lead you to your envisioned destination! Your beautifully balanced new life is now right around the corner!
Muffy Churches is the author of Coach Yourself, and is an internationally renowned integrative success coach. Born in the US and settled in Sydney, she works as a corporate trainer, executive coach, speaker, author, and counsellor. She has extensive experience in inspiring and initiating positive behavioural change in clients around the world. For more information visit here.
Did you ever struggle with going back to work? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
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