We hear lots of stories about how starting a family works against a women’s career, but what about when it works in her favour? Our very first list in our new 'Mums The Word' series rounds up six out of the many benefits a career break can bring.
1. It’s a time to take a step back, re-explore your personal values and identify what’s really important to you. From there you are able to set career goals that align to this vision and purpose so you can live the life you want and have a career that fits your needs and aspirations. This might be a flexible role, lead you to a new business venture or even a career change.
2. You have the opportunity to develop valuable skills during your time away from the workplace. Experience in other areas, such as volunteering, pursuing higher education, freelancing or working in another field, means that you can offer a unique perspective when you return to your career, and with the right support, you can emerge a stronger and more confident version of you. Don’t forget the new skills you learn through parenting, many of which are directly transferable to the workplace - negotiating, communicating, organising and stress management to name just a few. And you are likely to have become more productive too.
3. Excited to contribute to your field again when you return to work, you bring renewed enthusiasm and fresh energy to your company.
4. You are more strategic in your career choices - if you are giving up time with your children it had better be worth it.
5. You realise your family is your home and your safety net - your success stands and falls with their support. A break gives you the chance to gather your family members together and get them on board - clearly communicating what you need, want to achieve, and how they can help you make your goals happen.
6. A growing number of companies today are starting to realise the value of hiring women who have taken time out from the workforce, and are committing to hiring for diversity - not only encompassing gender and ethnicity, but age and life stage too.
At Work Happy Mums, we have helped hundreds of women return to work after time at home raising a family. Making the transition certainly has its challenges, there is no denying that. But by focusing on the benefits a career break can bring, and with patience, perseverance and strong ownership of who you are and what you are capable of, the perfect opportunity will present itself when the time is right—and you will be more than ready to take advantage of it.
Mums The Word is a collection of ‘Top 6’ lists written by mums for mums on all things career and family. Have some practical advice and ideas to share? Send us your list and help women figure ‘it’ all out on their own terms.