Getting back to work after a break to have a baby can be very daunting. When you’ve spent a couple of years raising your kids, it’s easy to lose touch with what’s going on in the world. For several years your only concern has been providing a safe and nurturing environment, keeping the house tidy and cleaning up after your little darlings. Then, the time comes when they’re off to school and you’ll be left with some time on your hands.
What do you want to do with it? Do you think you’re up to the challenge of returning to work and juggling family life with a new career?
You’ve been out of the game for a while, so there are a few steps you need to take first.
Take Stock and Reflect
Before you get too deep into looking for gainful employment, spend some time reflecting. Think about what you’ve accomplished in your life so far and whether going back to work is really what you want. Think about the goals you had for your life before the patter of tiny feet and have you actually achieved them? Are there any you can revisit, or is it going to be better if you make some more? Have your interests changed? Would you like to try something completely different?
Take a Break
Something else you can do before jumping back into work is to spend some time relaxing and enjoying some ‘you’ time. Your kids are out at school all day and you might have a lot on your mind, so do yourself a favor and take a break, enjoy a few weeks doing nothing but concentrating on yourself. Find some things to do that will take your mind off this new chapter in your life, and you’ll feel energized and refreshed. You might also experience an ‘a-ha’ moment when everything suddenly becomes clear. Even if you’re not actively thinking about your future career, your brain is working things out and finding a valid solution.
Go back to your roots and get in touch with people that matter to you most. You’ve been living in a whirlwind of diapers, shopping trips, doctors visits; in fact, everything possible that’s kiddy related. It’s time to reconnect with the people you know best such as family, friends and your significant other. There are also going to be old colleagues, role models, mentors, and others with similar values to yours.
Reconnect with others and you’ll find you learn more about who you are because you’ve finally got people you can share your struggles, dreams, frustrations, and ambitions with. Let’s be honest, little Jimmy might have been a great listener, but at 2 years old there was little constructive advice he could offer.
Ask people’s advice on your next move and you’ll find everyone you talk to will have something different to say. Not only that, but you’ll also get some feedback on how you’ve handled things and adapted in the past.
This is an option that works for a working mom because of the flexibility it allows. You might not think there are people who would be willing to pay for your writing skills, for example, but you might be surprised. Freelancing is also a great way to expand your portfolio and explore areas you might have been interested in previously.
Believe it or not, it’s also yet another opportunity to learn more about yourself. You learn how to manage a project from beginning to end, starting with sourcing a client through to delivering the end product. You might find there are certain parts of the cycle you enjoy more than others.
Go Back to College
Never underestimate the value of education. Not only can you improve your current skill set by gaining an extra qualification, but it also enables you to move onto another career path or take your career to a new level. If, for example, you were enjoying a general nursing career before kids came along, now might be the time to explore a more management focused role. In which case, you might be interested in DNP online programs in nursing leadership because this type of study allows you to stay at home and work your study around your family commitments.
Now you’ve got a better idea of where you want to go, here are some tips to help you juggle your new founded career and family more successfully.
Tips on Balancing Career and Family
Do you think you can handle being a mom with a career? There are plenty of women who do it very successfully, so how hard can it be? Here are some tips that might make it a little easier.
One last thing to remember, you might enjoy your new found freedom and challenge in your life but don’t let it stand in the way of spending time with your children and partner. If you’re starting to feel over-extended or over-worked, don’t be afraid to ask for help.