Return to work tips to ensure success
Top Tips For Your Return To Work
By Abbie Coleman
Return to work – Returning to work after maternity leave can hold a range of emotions from excitement through to dread at the thought of leaving your baby before you are ready. One thing I can say is that while there may be some common themes, not every woman feels the same way about her return nor should they.
We recently ran a survey of over 1k maternity returners on their thoughts, feelings and support they were offered upon return. There still seems to be a long way to go on support for maternity returners. So we want to give you our top tips to help you navigate your return:
What matters to you on your return?
Know what is important to you. Take some time out to sit down and look at your personal and career priorities, have these changed has the way you feel changed? Are you returning to a role and company your happy with, do you want more flexibility, do you want to go back part time or full time. Once your goals are clear you know you are on the track to success as your working towards something that works for you.
Know how you can achieve this return
So, you have worked out your priorities now how do you achieve them? If you are returning to work ensuring that you have the right childcare is essential if your heading back full time and your role includes long hours, then maybe a traditional nursery wouldn’t be suitable, and a childminder or nanny would be a better cost-effective childcare solution, especially if you have more than 1 child. Maybe you wish to cut back your hours in which case work out your finances the website the salary calculator can be an excellent way to quickly work out your salary when looking at pro rata and monthly income. Once you know what is important to you and what you need to achieve this, you now need to speak with work.
Talking To work about your return
The key to this apart from a great employer is to remember you have your ideal plan but that this is a starting point to work with your employer to find a solution that fits you both so flexibility is key from you as well as your employer. Remember that this plan is fluid and a work in progress and what may suit you with a 6-month-old may not still work for you with a 4-year-old.
Build Your network
Once your back you may find some of your networks have moved on or indeed you need to reconnect and rebuild your network. Not only can this help you in business, but it also connects you to what has happened and is happening in the current market place. Once you have a great network that you invest in you will find this is your wealth of information, contacts and resource.
Be kind to yourself on your return to work
You may be feeling at your most vulnerable right now and self-doubt may start to creep along with that feeling that nothing seems to be going right, how can you do this, how can this work. Be kind to yourself, remember your achievements and your capability while you’re undergoing this transformation. These feelings will pass, once you find your feet and schedule what works for you. Reports have suggested it can take up to 9 months for a returner to feel settled back into their company. Don’t beat yourself up give yourself a break you’re probably doing a lot better than you give yourself credit for.
Ask for support if its not given
Don’t be afraid to ask for support including from your employer. You have worked through what you want and need for your career plan, don’t be afraid to do the same with your family let them know how they can support you in achieving what you want to achieve. Maybe ask for a mentor internally or externally to help keep you on track and push you to achieve, it can be a great asset for any working professional.
And finally, if it isn’t working
Maybe you have returned and deep down something for you has changed. You don’t feel as fulfilled, you’re not as passionate about what you’re doing as you were before, or your current employer or role just isn’t working. Maybe you have decided that you actually need more time at home than you expected. Don’t be afraid to take a step away and really asses what makes you happy and fulfilled, as no matter what career or employer you’re with if your career ambitions and plans are not aligned, no place will feel like the right place. Don’t force yourself to go down a route that isn’t for you, due to others expectations. The only feeling that is right is your feeling so make sure your working to achieve what’s right for you, do this and you will achieve success both at work and at home.