This post brought to you by Upskilled
Mums – we are an amazing bunch. We simultaneously look after babies, partners, households, sometimes our own businesses, and often even ourselves. We learn to make lunch with one hand whilst holding a sleeping baby with the other. We memorise sports schedules for multiple children, know exactly which sandwich filling is preferred by each child, and co-ordinate pick ups and drop offs with all the skill of an Uber app.
And yet, when it comes to re-entering the paid workforce, we are all too often wracked by self-doubt. We worry that our workplace skills have slipped away, that our industry knowledge is completely out of date, or that our sleep deprived brains won’t be able to process new information.
Honestly, we deserve a kick in the pants! Mothers are excellent contributors to the workforce. We’re focused and efficient, because leaving late is not an option. We have a wider breadth of skills than before we became mums. And for many of us, we’re actually pleased to be at work and using our adult brains. An enthusiastic employee is a company’s greatest asset!
Re-entering the workforce can feel really daunting, but there are many things you can do to gain confidence and prepare yourself for the transition.
Volunteer or intern
If throwing yourself back into a paid job feels like too big a step, or if it’s proving difficult to obtain your ideal role, consider working as a volunteer or intern. Working in any sort of capacity will remind you that you are a capable person who can learn new workplace skills, and give you the confidence boost you need to then set your sights higher.
What’s more, volunteering will give you something new to add to your resume, up-to-date references, and possibly an inroad into a paid position.
It’s a common concern that, while you were keeping the little humans alive, your industry has moved on and left you behind. That may even be true. But this is a situation that can be rectified, and the internet is your friend.
It has never been so easy to learn what you want, when you want it. Sign up for webinars, subscribe to blogs, download business eBooks or enrol in an online course.
Registered training providers such as Upskilled provide online learning platforms with a wealth of course options and qualifications to choose from. Online learning can be perfect for mums who need to fit their training in around school runs and nap times. (As a bonus, Upskilled assign trainers to their online students, so you’re not left floundering on your own).
It’s also a good idea to start attending industry events again, both for the knowledge gained and the networking opportunities (along with the lure of canapes and wine, of course).
Gain confidence with a coach
If a lack of direction or self-confidence is holding you back, get some help with that!
The coaching industry has exploded in recent years, to the point where it may be hard to know who to choose. Look for a coach whose expertise aligns with what you most need – whether that be help with personal issues, industry insights, etc.
Take a good look at your prospective coaches’ training, testimonials, and experience in your industry (if relevant). Ask for a free 30-minute session or discussion, so that you can see if you are a good fit for one another.
Send out feelers
It can take time to find a new role, especially if, like many a mother, there are restrictions on the hours or locations in which you can work. So start by getting the word out that you’re looking.
Let all of your networks know what you’re after – get in touch with previous colleagues, attend industry functions, tell all of your friends and family, put it out there on Facebook. You don’t need to ask for a job, just for job leads. You never know who may be connected to someone that is looking for a new employee.
Above all, just get started, taking whatever small steps you can manage. Get that momentum going, build up your confidence, and soon you’ll be back in the paid workforce and realising just what an awesome asset you are to your employer.