For some women, kids are just a temporary blip on an otherwise unblemished resume. These fortunate souls manage to give birth and be back at the office within a few weeks, as if nothing life changing had ever happened. However, for the majority of women, life is rarely that simple and having kids has a tendency to derail all but the most determined career oriented women.
Having it All
Juggling kids and a career is not easy. Women often end up feeling pulled in every which direction and guilty to boot. They may have started with every intention of becoming a successful executive, but with the arrival of kids, they are left behind in the workplace. Taking a year off on maternity leave is the norm.
A year is a long time, although it may not feel long enough when you are enjoying being at home. Your career might survive a year’s break, but if you have two children in quick succession, a year off soon stretches into the best part of three years away from the office, and your career will lose momentum very quickly. The good news is that your career can recover, or even flourish, even after having children.
In theory, maternity leave is a time to kick back and enjoy being with your baby. In practice, it can stretch out into a long and unwelcome break from work. You probably love being with your child, but if you are used to the frenetic pulse of corporate life, an enforced break can feel like purgatory.
One tactic is to enroll on a further education course to keep your brain ticking over. The same applies if you have young children and you suspect your career has stalled. There are plenty of courses to choose from. If you work in the corporate world, an MBA might be a good choice, but if you are a registered nurse, you could study for an RN to MSN online and gain your MSN administration at home. It’s a great way of boosting your career prospects during a time when you might feel as if you don’t have any, and once your kids are older, you can use your extra qualifications to move up the career ladder.
A New Direction
If you career has stalled, or it never really took off, look closely at your talents and see if there is anything else you can do. There is a wealth of opportunity out there for moms with an entrepreneurial spirit. You could start an e-commerce venture. Alternatively, if you are creative, open a shop on Etsy and start selling your creations. Why not start a parenting blog that will document your days and also make you some money.
Having kids doesn’t have to mean the end of your career aspirations. Keep in touch with your boss and have a plan in place if you intend on returning to work. In the meantime, build a network of like-minded mums and chat about your entrepreneurial ideas. You never know, you might come up with an amazing idea to start a business!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post