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Returning to Work After Bringing Up Your Children

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 17 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Mother Home Working Employment Emotional

Although there are many reasons for going back to work after raising your family – financial, emotional or practical – many of the feelings women experience are the same regardless.

In order to maximise your opportunities in the work place, it is important that you value your skills and experience and know how to present yourself in the best light. You will need to be able to separate your emotional concerns from the often harsh reality of the working world – you need to be able to push yourself forward and value your abilities to make sure that you get the salary and opportunities you deserve.

Once you have made the decision to return to work after bringing up your children, it is worth your while taking some time to think about what you have to offer, updating skills if necessary and reasserting yourself with the modern workplace. This will help your confidence and stop you taking the first halfway decent job you are offered because you do not what else is available.

IT Skills

If you have been out of the workplace for some time and your children are not yet the speedy computer whizzes they will be soon, it is a good idea to ensure your technical ability is at least competent. Even if your new job is not based at a computer, everyone nowadays is expected to at least be able to write a word document and send an email. If you can’t, your potential new employer will wonder what other basic skills you don’t have and you may be passed over for a job that you would be perfect for.

Start with your local library or Learn Direct office. There is bound to be a free class that you can take, either in the evening or daytime, depending on your commitments. You do not need to be able to create amazing spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations (unless you want to be a secretary or PA) but ignorance with computers is no longer acceptable.

Time for Your Family

When you return to work your family is bound to notice a difference, especially if you were previously at home most of the time. In order to keep a good ‘work life balance’ it is important to establish routines that take into consideration the needs of all the members of your family. Why not have an agreement to sit at the dinner table at least three nights a week and each have a chance to talk about your day? This is a particularly good habit for young children to get in to as it allows them an opportunity to bring up any worries about school, friends or hobbies.

Don’t Underestimate Yourself

You may think that your years spent raising your family have had nothing to do with developing commercial skills. You may also feel as though your identity as a mother has overtaken any other definitions you may have had before starting a family. Sit down with a trusted friend, or helpful recruitment consultant if you prefer, and write down all the tasks you deal with in your role as mother – organising diaries, negotiating skills, financial planning – and write them in a commercial manner on your CV.

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