The thought of taking those first steps beyond the school run and returning to work can be a daunting prospect for many mums. Whether you’ve had a career break to look after your kids and now worry that your skills are out of date or you feel stuck in a rut and long to change career direction but lack the confidence to try something new – it’s important to remember you’re not alone!
As a career and confidence coach from www.inspiredmums.co.uk who has helped hundreds of mums find fulfilling and flexible work, I can reassure you that it’s entirely normal to feel anxious and unsure where to begin when it comes to re-entering the workplace. So many of the mums I work with lack confidence initially and often try to talk themselves out of a job search by worrying about the “what ifs” – “what if my children are ill” or “what if I can’t find a job with any flexibility?”
The great news is that you don’t have to embark on this journey alone – there is a wealth of support out there – both emotional and practical – to help you find fulfilling work that fits round the needs of your family. So here are my top 5 tips to help you as you take those exciting first steps beyond the school run…..
1. Mix with like-minded people
It’s important to try to socialise with other working mums who are returning to work or who have recently done so as it will give you the opportunity to discuss common challenges and ask for advice. Chatting with other mums who work may help you see the many positives of re-entering the workplace will keep you motivated (remember having uninterrupted conversations? Bliss!) Remember to actively seek out the positive people in your natural network who will support and encourage you – rather than those ‘naysayers’ who, however well meaning, can put down your good ideas.
2. Rediscover your network
Your natural network of contacts is a fantastic opportunity to reach out for emotional and practical support. Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn now make it easy to reconnect with people, but don’t forget the power of personally connecting with a phone call or a face-to-face meeting. In my experience, a creative job search is essential to find those seemingly elusive flexible roles and telling your contacts what you are looking for is an excellent way of unlocking your network.
3. Ask for guidance
Of course networking only works if you are clear on your career direction. If, however, you aren’t sure what you want to do or need help boosting your confidence to overcome the obstacles you put in your path, then career coaching is a great investment. Coaching will help you identify your key strengths and what truly motivates you as well as help you overcome the barriers that are holding you back.
4. Get the practicalities sorted
Whether it’s lining up childcare, hiring a cleaner or reallocating the domestic chores with a partner, it’s essential to ensure the domestic support is in place so your transition back to work is smooth, not frantic!
5. Stay positive!
Finally, I was recently reminded that the word ‘fear’ can also stand for ‘feel excited and ready’ – which I thought was a great way to support yourself with a more positive mindset. I always remind my clients that the secret to a successful job search is resilience – you need to be able to bounce back from rejection and keep moving forward – so as you take those steps beyond the school run, remember, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…..” (Chinese proverb)
If you would like a free consultation with Fiona to talk about how she can help you re-enter the workplace confidently and find a fulfilling and family friendly role, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07789 597209.
Looking for more career & confidence advice? Download Inspired Mums’ free e-book, “For mums stuck in a career rut – 8 steps to finding work you love” on www.inspiredmums.co.uk.