Are you planning a return to the workforce after the kids start kindergarten, head to middle school, or go off to college? Or perhaps your maternity leave will be up soon and you’re starting to think about your next career steps? Now is the perfect time to start preparations for your transition back to work. Building a strategy for returning to work after kids is never easy, so start early and be diligent about your intentions.
Our TOP 5 TIPS for building a strategy for returning to work:
1. Plan the Logistics of Your New Schedule
Use your time to explore daycare options, especially if your children are young. Visit several and find the best situation for you and your kiddo. This process can take longer than you might think, so start now and give yourself the extra time.
If your children are older and attend school during working hours, determine what time they need to be dropped off and picked up and how that will impact your schedule. As you start to have conversations with potential employers, be upfront about any flexibility needs you may have as you nail down the routine.
2. Secure a Backup
As mamas, things happen beyond our control all the time. Think through what needs to happen if your child gets sick or injured at school and needs to be picked up. Make sure you have a trusted family member or friend you can count on to help out in emergencies in case you can’t get there quickly. Check out your local babysitting services to find options for last-minute sitters. Prepare now and have peace of mind later.
3. Sharpen Your Skills
If you took a significant amount of time off, you’ll likely need to brush up on some skills. Consider enrolling in evening or online classes and set some time aside to teach yourself what you need to know. Set yourself up for success by assessing your skills and where they need to be to excel in your upcoming role.
4. Update Your Professional Online Presence & Resume
Update your LinkedIn profile and resume with any new skills, certifications, and information about yourself. There are plenty of online resources and workshops to help you figure this out. That way you aren’t scrambled when you see the perfect job listing or interviews start rolling in!
5. Speak With a Career Coach
If you need guidance on setting up your strategy for returning to work, a career coach can equip you with the right tools at the right time in your career to succeed. Scheduling an appointment and setting up a game plan with an expert is a great use of your time.
Have more questions, want to talk to an expert, or interested in hearing other moms' experiences? Thousands of women are on SocialMama discussing their return to work after baby. Download in the App Store today and meet women and professionals like you.
About the contributor:
Anna McKay has been a career transition and leadership development coach since 2008. She is the proud mama of two kind-hearted and strong willed girls! After years as an expat in China and the Philippines, Anna founded Parents Pivot to help stay-at-home-parents return to paid work and find careers they love. She offers online workshops, in-person training, return to work programs, and 1x1 & group coaching. Anna is also a MentorMama on SocialMama.