So you’ve not been working whilst your children were small….but now they’re a little bit older, you feel that it’s time to return to work. We have candidates coming to us regularly who know that it’s time to return to work, but they’re not sure what they actually want to do. Maybe their previous job would be too demanding, the commute too long or sometimes, people just want to do something different – but what?
Here are some points that I always advise my candidates to think about
1) Seek out family-friendly firms
If you were a lawyer or in financial services in your previous life, you may think that there’s no way you could go back to such a demanding job and still have flexibility. However, this is not always the case. We are seeing more and more firms being set up around being family friendly. So from an accountancy firm that shoos everyone out of the office at 5.30 and doesn’t let you check emails at home, to a law firm that only recruits lawyers on a flexible basis and chooses to look at quality over quantity – there could well be a forward thinking firm near you that has the same principles.
2) How about doing something completely different?
What have you always wanted to do? This is the career that you could be doing until you retire so why not use this opportunity to make a drastic career change. So whether it’s designing children’s clothing, becoming a wedding planner, or even setting up a social enterprise then go for it!
3) Do some work experience
If you think you know what you’d like to do, but not 100% sure, then why not do some work experience/volunteer work. Many companies who run events will gladly give you a week’s work experience so you can see what it’s like first hand to run an event. Or there are charities that are crying out for volunteers to help with marketing or PR.
So if you’re struggling with ideas about what to do next career-wise once you’ve been on a childcare break, then hopefully this will have inspired you to look at the problem from a different angle. Take an hour on your own (maybe even with a glass of wine) and just have a big brainstorm about all your different options – think ‘ideal world’, ‘money no object’, ‘what am I really good at/enjoy doing’ and take it from there. Have confidence in yourself and instead of saying “I can’t do that” think “Of course I can do that!” Many parents have done it before…..so why not you?!
If you still feel like you’re struggling about returning to work after being on a childcare break and would like some guidance, we run workshops and bespoke 1-1 coaching to help you with every step of the journey.