Going Back to Work After Kids: The Comeback Mom
Going back to work after kids is different for everyone. Some moms decide or are forced to going back to work after taking a short maternity leave, while others are going back to work much later in their life when their kids are in high school or college. This is a personal choice. Either way, it’s a balancing act. Depending on the age of your children you may need to consider child care options: nanny (could be expensive), day care (limited hours) or family help. Who will be there when your children get home from school, have a fever or are on a school break?
Once you have made the decision of going back to work after kids and have solved the logistics of child care, you will need to consider what type of work you want to do.
Perhaps you have a particular expertise or professional degree but are feeling a little rusty. Even a short time away from the office can have you feeling out of the loop. You may want to start sharpening these skills and updating your resume. Start reading literature in your specialized area. If you’re a lawyer, accountant, architect or computer engineer pull out your books and start reading recent journals. Start networking with people you used to work with. You need to reconnect with the working side of you. Perhaps, take on a temporary position in your field just to get your feet wet. You never know, that job may turn into a full time or permanent position; if that is what you are looking for, or perhaps contingent work will be the route you want to take.
Some moms may not know what they want to do. This is a good time to sit down and think about what you are good at. You have developed many skills by being home with your kids. You have become a better time manager, a problem solver and good at multi-tasking. It is difficult to write this in your CV but when going for a job interview you can put these ideas into words. If you have done some volunteer work this is an asset. Perhaps now is the time to take a course and learn an additional skill. Or try out a receptionist, administrative, secretarial, data entry, filing or event planning type of job.
Once you decide what you want to do, you can go out and start applying for full time or part time positions. After you get a job and have established yourself, if you are finding you are having a hard time juggling work and mommyhood, you can try and negotiate with your boss to be more flexible by working some hours at home, compressed hour days or job sharing so that you can better manage your life.
Many moms do find it very difficult to work full time or even part time. They are often left feeling guilty and /or depressed. Many are searching for flexibility in their work so that they can both be there for their kids and still bring in an income. They are in search of the perfect work life balance. Sounds impossible? Fortunately, for us busy mommies of today, there is a new trend emerging. Companies are increasingly hiring temporary workers to execute short term projects. They outsource work and hire the best people for each project while staying competitive by hiring only as needed. In fact, it may sound astonishing but 50% of all new jobs are being hired this way! Many moms have taken advantage of this new trend by deciding to open up their own freelancing businesses where they offer their services to companies on a temporary basis. In this way moms can be independent, entrepreneurial and most of all flexible. They can have it all! Going back to work after kids becomes a little easier.
Written by a comeback mom who knows how difficult it is to find flexible work that suits the busy schedule of today’s mommies and others in search of work-life balance. She and her partner have developed a website, www.workhoppers.com, to match people’s skills and availability with company’s flexible short term projects locally.