You’ve spent years building your career until you put things on hold to have your beautiful bub. At first, through the sleep deprivation and chronic baby brain, you can barely imagine going back to work. But eventually the fog starts to lift and you start to think maybe it’s time.
Balancing work with raising kids can be daunting and finding a role that is satisfying and offer you the flexibility you need can be challenging. From part time and contract work to project work and flexible arrangements, there are lots of options for mums looking to get back into the paid workforce but they’re not always easy to find.
With the help of FlexCareers, a new online service connecting professional mums with progressive employers, we’ve put together our list of top tips to help you find the right role, get job-ready and achieve the work-life balance you want.
1. Know what you want
Before you take the plunge and go back to work, ask yourself “why?”. Are you ready to jump right back into your career or just dip your toes in to help pay the family bills? Maybe you’re looking for a new challenge or simply a little more adult conversation in your day? Your reasons for returning to work will shape the type of job you’re looking for and may even send you in a whole new direction.
2. Run the numbers
If you don’t already have a budget, now’s the time to open up a spreadsheet (and a bottle of wine) and do one. Knowing exactly what your weekly expenses are will give you a good idea of how much income you need and help you determine how much work you need or want to take on. Setting some savings goals will also give you some good motivation to get back out there.
3. Organise daycare
Now you have an idea of how many days a week you plan to work, figure out what care options you have for your little one. If you’ll be putting your tot in daycare, start the ring around to check on availabilities, register on waitlists and organise some site visits to find one that feels right for your family. If you can manage it financially, be prepared to start your kiddo before you even start work. It will give you both time to adjust to the new routine without the pressure of racing off to your new job and give you some quiet time to look for work and head to interviews.
4. Look for work the right way
The job hunt can be a long and hard road so you don’t want to waste a second looking for work in the wrong places. Head to a service like FlexCareers that specialises in hooking you up with mum-friendly work. Best of all, it does the hard work for you. Once you build your online profile, the FlexCareers web platform will find relevant matches for you and let employers find you.
5. Update your resume
Look at the types of jobs you’re interested in and update your resume to highlight how your experience matches what they need. If you have done some extra study or volunteer work while you’ve been at home with the kids, don’t forget to add it in. And remember to include all the skills you know you’re great at because you use them as a mum every day—time management, multi-tasking, compassion, collaboration and patience (so much patience!).
6. Refresh your skills
If you’re feeling a bit rusty, brush up on your skills so you can hit the ground running on your first day back. Get up-to-date with the latest versions of Word or Excel with a quick online course, or check in with your local industry organisation to see if there are any short courses on offer to help you get your mind back into the game.
7. Get your wardrobe sorted
Be brave. Venture into that dusty space at the back of your wardrobe and pull out your old work clothes. Now, try them on. If they don’t quite fit the way you remember, bite the bullet and treat yourself to a shopping spree. Get at least the basics—a good pair of pants and a skirt and a couple of tops that fit you well. You’ll feel so much better in clothes that fit while you work your way back into your old faves. And, of course, landing an interview is a great excuse for a new outfit.
8. Plan ahead
Time will be precious when you’re juggling work and home life. Make a list of what you can do ahead of time to make every day feel a bit more organised. Whether it’s meal planning, chore lists or figuring out a new breastfeeding schedule (especially if you’ll need to pump at work), write it all down and you’ll feel a lot more in control.
If you’re not sure where to start your job search register for free at www.FlexCareers.com.au and connect with hundreds of employers who value your contribution and offer flexible hours, attractive pay and great career opportunities.
(This is a sponsored article)