This article is a rewrite from my earlier blog on Linked – titled, “Mom’s career elasticity” published on on March 9, 2020.
The words “Mom and Career”, feels like a tug of war for most women. There is often a fear of being pulled on one side. Most often women step back on their careers because of fear or myths that “a working women cannot be good mother” or “women cannot re-enter work place after a long career break”. We assume that, working mothers are super woman who have a perfect eco system that support them, but trust me, they would be battling similar challenges as you and I do. They become “Super Women” by facing the challenges and coming with terms with their ecosystem and planning their careers accordingly.
I am a mother of two children, who are in their late teens. I had a career pause when my children were born. I returned back to work after about 4 years when my children were born. I was challenged that I can never get back to work after along break. Motherhood does not mean a stop to your career aspirations, it is just a slow down or pause.
I resumed back to work when my younger son was 5 months old. Many women ask me how, I could make a come back, and continue working for all these years. I tell them it’s just one simple mantra – “Understand your Career Elasticity”.
Yes, I meant “Career Elasticity”. For a woman to sustain and grow in her career, it’s important to have a good understanding of how much she can stretch towards her career considering her eco-system. Every one of us live in different environments with different needs, challenges and aspirations. There is no one plan, that fits all. If you are one of those mother’s planning for a come back, here are a few thoughts that could help you make a move towards your career path. Even before you proceed, beat the guilt and prepare yourself that you are not making a mistake by returning to work, but adding value to your child’s future.
Are you ready for the career stretch?
Have clarity of thought:
- Why would you want to return back? Career aspirations, Passion, financial independence, etc.
- What type of career are you planning for?
- How much time you can spend at work?
- Can you afford to travel if needed?
- Do you have realistic views about your career goals considering your current eco system?
Analyse your support system:
- Is your support system for the baby in place, when you are at work? Eg: Nanny, daycare, parents, etc.
- Do you have a fall back plan or plan B of your support system?
- How supportive is your spouse of your return to work?
- If your child is above 2 years, have you prepared your child of your return?
Organisations or workplace:
- What kind of organisations are you looking for?
- Do you know about the work culture of the organisation?
- What facilities they provide for women? Is the organisation Women friendly?
- What are the working hours? Are they flexible and provide options such as Work from Home?
- Have you read or heard positive reviews of the organisation?
- Are you prepared for the comeback?
- Do you have the skills the industry demands?
- Do you need to up-skill yourself?
- Have you planned for any courses or certifications if needed?
- How much time do you need to prepare yourself?
- Do you have your resume and online portfolio ready?
Socialising and networking:
- Have you made a list of companies you would wish to apply?
- List of Job portals and social job sites to apply?
- Friends and network you can reach out to?
Before every career move I have made, I make a similar check to see how much I can stretch in my next career move, to ensure, I am landing in the job I can sustain and grow. I believe opportunities can come in at any time, all that we need to do is have the preparedness to take it ahead. Understand your career elasticity, plan your career stretch, and make the bold move to be the Super Woman you aspire to be.
For all the mom’s who are on a career pause, make the bold move and you will never regret the pause. Celebrate yourself and make your children feel proud of their “Super Mom”.
*The views in the blog are purely personal.”