work from home mom

The 8 Best Career Tips for Moms Returning to Work

Know your Rights

One of the first things you should do, either before having a baby, or at least as soon as you can after having a baby, is knowing your legal rights with your current employer.

The first important thing to know is the amount of time off under your State’s family leave law. There is also the Pregnancy Discrimination Act that you should read and make yourself familiar with. This Act prevents an employer, who has 15 or more workers, from saying you are unable to continue your job, because of your pregnancy, or that you should also take mandatory leave.

Job protected leave should amount to 12-weeks, as stated by the FMLA, although this is unpaid. In addition, there are some States, which offer paid leave for both moms and dads. It is advisable to check your full family entitlements, as this can make a huge difference to your new situation.

The Right Time

This is a tough question to answer, when is a good time to return to work? There is no mythical time to say when you should return to work. It should merely just be a case of when you feel you are ready – emotionally, mentally, and physically.

When the time comes and you are considering it, you should sit down and think about it carefully, and also talk it over with your partner. If you are almost sure that it is time (around 80% sure), then that should be the time to make your move.

Remember, you will never be 100% sure, and anything less means you are still undecided if it is the right thing to do or not. It is a decision that should not be taken lightly – you should weigh up all aspects of whether you need to return for the money, or if you just need a touch back with the adult world.

Work Place Nerves

After you have been out of work; even if it is for only a few months, you may have started to feel your skills have deserted you. These fears, are just fears and you will soon realize, your skills are still there. There is no need to lose confidence, although you may feel a little rusty in some respects, the core skills will not have left you, and it will all come back to you as second nature.

One of the hardest adjustments to make when returning to work after having a baby, is getting back into that workplace vibe. That connection will be lost, and it will take a while to come back and make you feel at ease. You will feel definitely have a wave of mixed emotions, and will no doubt feel apprehensive of walking back into your old workplace.

Re-connection with your old work colleagues or boss is the secret here, and much of this you can do before your first day back in the office. If you have a conversation or meet up with some work colleagues before you return, this will put you at ease and make you feel part of the team again.

New Skills

As a new mother, you will have learnt and acquired some new found skills. You may not have noticed them though, but your skillset will now involve new people skills, time and creative problem-solving. These coupled with your multi-tasking and time management skills, will be second to none.

Although an employer will not look at these as benefits to them, you should put the onus on them, and show how these skills can help you in the workplace. You will learn to be flexible, adapt to change and relish in learning new things.

New Jobs

If you are not looking to return to your old employer, then do not apply for only part-time jobs. Work out what type of role would be best for you, whether that be part or full-time. If you apply for full-time positions, you might find these are open to negotiation for flexible working hours. However, it is advisable only to mention this, once you have convinced your possible employer you are the most suitable candidate for the job.

Many new mothers will feel guilt or resentment if they take on a full-time role just after they have had a baby, but there is no right or wrong answer. You simply do what is best for you and your situation.

The Right Working Pattern

Thinking outside the box can help when it comes to flexible working. There are many options as to how this can work, and be presented, to a prospective employer.

Some examples of flexible working are –

  • Job Sharing
  • Working from home – even if this is only on some days, not all
  • Working on projects – once full-time working on a project has been completed, you take time off in lieu
  • Compressing your work hours from five days, into four
  • Delaying your start and finish times, to allow for your children to be taken to school

Much of these patterns will depend on the childcare options that are open to you. You may even have to combine a nanny and a nursery to get the best of both worlds, and also balance the needs of your children.

Working from Home

With all things considered, there is nothing to say, that you have to return to full or part-time employment, for an employer.

Today there are so many options open to a new mother to work from home, and care for their family in their own surroundings and habitat.

Many of these positions, might just offer that balance you are seeking without the need for nursery school, or an expensive nanny. This is not to say it will be easy. You will have to utilize all your time management and multi-tasking skills to make this work.

Work at Home Opportunities

There are many people who are seeking to work for themselves, rather than working a 9-5 job, and this is not just new mothers. People from all walks of life are taking their skills and putting them to use for themselves.
A lot of positions available can result in the depth of your skills from your previous workplace. This is not to say there are no positions available. It might just mean there is a limit of jobs you can apply for, or what you can offer.

One of the best places to start is by signing up for one of the many Freelance websites; these have many positions available that fit a wide breadth of skills. Positions available range from data entry and web research, to more advanced projects of design, or being a ghostwriter.

Even then, there is nothing to say you cannot branch out into something even more specialized. If you have the necessary skills, you can become one of the many sought-after professional resume writers who are always in high demand.

There are many companies, who offer these services, and many are always on the lookout for skilled writers to perform these tasks. You might find that this service is lacking in your area, so putting the word out with family and friends can give you an opportunity to offer your services to the many job hunters who require professional looking resumes.

You don’t need any fancy degrees to take on this area of employment – all you need is a keen eye for detail, and a bit of creativity!

As a new mother, you may have taken a knock with your workplace confidence, but you have to remember you are the same career woman as you were previously. The only difference, is now you have a child. There is nothing to be scared or ashamed of; you can hold your head up high, regardless of what work opportunity you seek.

Before you have a baby, and consider returning to work, or even staying home and working, you should make yourself a checklist. This will ensure for a smooth streamlined process when the time comes. This can be from knowing your rights with your current employer to working out that best time for you return to work. It can be a difficult decision to leave your newborn baby and return to work, but sometimes, it is what you have to do, to make a means. Remember though, the bottom line is, there is no right or wrong answer – it is merely up to you, and is a personal choice, that needs to meet your requirements.

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