Returning to work…..
First of all, I am definitely not saying that you should return to work. I’m a firm believer that everyone should be able to live their life as they choose and for some people that’s looking after their children, for others that’s returning to work full-time and for others it’s doing a little of both!
If you are considering returning to work, the first port of call might be your pre-baby employer. Many have an obligation to find you a role and these days, companies are not just paying lip service to this. The likes of the government’s gender pay gap reporting have boosted the ‘value’ of women in the workplace as companies try to increase the number of women at the top and reduce their gender pay gap (not the same as equal pay!). In addition, companies know that in order to attract women back to work (and to help men see their families more), they need to have more flexible working options. It’s certainly not perfect but don’t assume you won’t get what you ask for. You must check the terms and conditions of your maternity package and contract though – some companies have clauses which mean you have to return for a period of time post maternity leave.
Maybe you’re returning after a few years’ (or more) break from work. It might still be worth contacting your previous employer but if that’s not an option then help is at hand from some local companies.
Andrea Starbuck and Kirsteen Allen run Ten2Two Kent from Sevenoaks and, as the name suggests, it’s an organisation that helps people find flexible work, possibly from 10am until 2pm! Andrea and Kirsteen are mothers themselves and are passionate about what they do; they have built a strong network within local business and are keen proponents of the importance of flexible working to employers so as to attract top talent.
As well as matching open roles with people looking for flexible work, they also provide CV workshops and interview coaching as well as helping people to connect. It can feel lonely applying for jobs but not so much when you know others in the same boat.
You can contact one of the team at Ten2Two by calling 01732 759849 or checking out their website here.
If you used to work in financial services and you’d like to return then Mark and Tina Freed at E2W based in Kings Hill might be the people to help. They set up their company twenty years ago after careers in the City when they realised that there were many women who became mothers and then found it hard to return to the square mile.
Since then they have been helping women stay in and return to the industry thanks to their recruitment arm; collaborating with financial services companies so that they can change their hiring practices and cultures to be more accommodating towards women; and working with government bodies such as the Treasury Select Committee for Women in Finance to lobby for change to regulations.
You can contact one of the friendly team at E2W by calling 01732 897722 or check out their website here.
We seem to be in an age now where the world seems smaller and more accessible and the options for almost any decision seem greater! Career coaches can really help to you to see the wood for the trees when it comes to working.
It might be that being an employee is no longer for you: whilst you’ve been up in the night soothing your little one, you’ve come up with a fantastic new product that you want to share with the world! The right coach will be able to help you turn your idea into reality and you into a ‘mumpreneur’!
But if you do want the security of work (& you’re not alone) then coaches can help you find the right route. Maybe you never loved your job and you’d like to try a different industry; maybe you feel as though you want to go for promotion but you’re not sure how; perhaps you need some guidance on how to handle a chat about reducing your hours or flexible working.
Local coach Ruth Ferreira says, “One of the biggest challenges that many of my ‘mum’ clients face is working out what is actually important to them and what their priorities are. There may be several competing factors such as finances, childcare, quality time with the family etc. Other factors like fear can also play a major role.
When looking to re-enter the workforce, many women find it useful to re-evaluate their priorities through the coaching process to be sure that they are making the right decision for them and their family, and to overcome the fear and rebuild their confidence in their abilities. For some, returning to work or finding a job share is the right choice whereas others prefer to start their own business.”
As Ruth says, child care can be a factor in your decision making. If you’d like to chat through your options, then give me a call 01732 838417.
But whatever you decide to do I wish you lots of luck and just remember not to compare yourself to others – do what’s right for you.