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Our top tips for your return to work after a career break

As a mother the thought of returning to work after parental leave and leaving your little ones can be overwhelming. There are many factors you must consider to ensure your return to the workforce is a successful one

Below are Working Mothers Connect’s top tips for a smooth transition back to the workforce:

1. Preparation & Planning

Adequate preparation and planning are key and we suggest you begin thinking about your return to work at least 6 months in advance. Communicate openly with your network – your employer, partner, children, family, friends and potential carers about your thoughts and decisions. Use your support network for advice and guidance and certainly take any offers for help that come your way.

Think about how it will all work and ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you return to the same position or seek a new opportunity?
  • Do you want to return to work full or part time and will you request a flexible work arrangement?
  • Who will look after the children? What does that look like? What costs are involved?
  • Who will manage which family and household responsibilities and will you utilise external support services such as a cleaner or food delivery service?

2. Childcare

Whether your children are cared for by family members, friends, a nanny or a childcare centre it is important to organise this early and prior to your job search. You will need time to ensure your children get used to the changes and the new routine.

If you are considering day care, start the process as early as you can as some centres have waiting lists of 12 months or more. It can take some parents months before they find the right childcare centre – we recommend touring several centres to ensure you find the right fit your child and family – you need to be completely comfortable with your choice.

3. Beginning your job search

Ensure your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile are up to date and reflective of your current skill-set. If you feel you need further assistance in these areas you could consider approaching a career coach or resume writer. (Our sister company JustMums Recruitment has a talented and experienced team that can help you.)

Make sure you focus on those skills you have gained since becoming a mother too - these include; time management, negotiation, communication, organisation, multi-tasking – you’re an exceptional talent and mothers are valuable employees.

4. Networking

Follow industry leaders and companies via LinkedIn and other digital channels to remain up to date with current trends and business activities since your departure. Stay connected with former colleagues and managers as they will be a great source of professional information and potential employment opportunities too. Attending relevant professional development opportunities or industry specific events are also highly recommended.

5. Training

If you have identified any skills gaps or feel a little out of touch it is a good idea to consider training to further develop your knowledge and to update your skills. Many courses these days are offered online so can be undertaken around the care of your children and many community centres offer refresher courses on various topics. If you are returning to the same employer, you could utilise your “keeping in touch” days to undertake training too. The recruitment process, particularly for part-time roles can be a competitive one – current skills and confidence in your abilities will ensure you’re an attractive candidate.

6. Contacting companies who support working mothers

Working Mothers Connect is a digital platform designed to partner mothers seeking flexible work arrangements with employers that share those values. Visit www.workingmothersconnect.com.au, create a job seeker profile, upload your resume and view our current job vacancies with industry leaders. You can also create free job alerts that match your skillset and location.