With the arrival of a new year and school holidays drawing to a close many Mums will be preparing for a return to the workforce in 2014. Whether you are coming off maternity leave or returning to employment after many years at home raising family, this can be both a challenging and daunting prospect.
- JustMums Recruitment are a niche agency dedicated to supporting working mums and mums returning to work and we have created the following list of 17 bright ideas to make the transition from home to work a little easier.
Preparation, both practical and emotional, should start as soon as possible. Research the employment market, do your sums, assess the needs of your family and set yourself a realistic return to work date to work towards.
Your resume is the single most important screening tool used to determine whether you make the cut or the rejection pile. Invest love and time into your document or engage a professional to undertake the work for you.
Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) –
Visit www.wgea.gov.au to view recent information on Australia’s leading employers of choice for women. These employers represent gender equality, promote flexibility, support return to work parents and provide breast-feeding facilities at work. These are the guys we want to work for.
Hidden Jobs –
Don’t limit your search to advertised jobs listed online or in the paper. Research companies that you would like to work for and contact them directly, use your own network and tell the world that you are available and back on the market.
The cost, availability and quality of care options need to be researched and trialled well before returning to work. Whether you’re relying on grandparents, a private nanny, family day-care or a long day childcare centre, your child must be familiar with his/her new carer as early in the piece as practical. This will put you in good stead for your return to work.
Mother’s Guilt –
Feelings of guilt around leaving your child are normal. If you are happy and comfortable with the decisions you have made, in particular around the care of your child in your absence these feelings will soon pass (thankfully).
Put simply, if you are a professional Mum and are not yet on LinkedIn – get on it! Visit www.linkedin.com to create your free profile.
The Interview –
Prepare, relax, be confident, stay true to yourself and remember that the interview is a two way street – it’s equally an opportunity for you to see if the role and business is suited to you as it is the business deciding whether you are the right fit for them.
Work Life Balance –
Once you have started work make every effort to maintain a healthy balance and be sure to factor in some time to yourself.
Careers Counsellors & Coaches –
Maternity leave is often a time where we reflect on our career, priorities, motivations and interests. It is not uncommon to find oneself standing at a crossroad and unsure of which professional path to take. A careers counsellor or coach can provide clarity and support to set you on your way.
Negotiating Flexibility –
If you intend negotiating flexible working arrangements with your employer following maternity leave, start these discussions with your Manager or HR team as early on as possible. If you have worked for your employer for a minimum of 12 months you have the right to request working flexibly which may include part-time, job-sharing, telecommuting or accessing annual leave in order to finish work early for example. Visit www.fairwork.gov.au for information relating to your rights and national employment standards.
Be Positive & Patient –
Securing your ideal role and one that works in with your family commitments may take some time so be patient, remain focussed and try to remain positive despite any setbacks.
JustMums Recruitment –
JustMums are a niche agency dedicated to connecting working mums & mums returning to work with jobs, offering a recruitment service, training opportunities and resume support.
It’s a competitive market so if your skills are out-dated consider up-skilling or retraining. Training can be offered flexibly or online and in some cases government funding is available.
Home Help –
As you re-enter the workforce the last thing you want is to come home to chaos on the domestic front. Delegate some of the household chores to your partner or better still, outsource and employ a cleaner.
Voluntary Work –
Volunteering is a brilliant way to prepare you for work, develop your skills and gain experience. Visit www.volunteeringaustralia.org to explore voluntary opportunities in your area.
Organisation is key to any successful return to the workforce. Pack the childcare bag or prepare school lunches the night before, create a family schedule or roster and write lists to ensure you don’t forget things in what can be a hectic time.