What are your career plans while on maternity leave? If you’re heading out on leave soon and are thinking the answer to this question is “I don’t have any”, then you may want to re-think your answer.
Like all new parents, as you gaze into your baby’s eyes for the first time you’re going to want to give this precious new life the world. But also like many new parents, you’re going to question how you’ll be able to afford to give him or her the world.
It’s never too early to think about your career when you return to work. After all, while you’re on leave enjoying this special time with baby your career will either fall behind as the company continues to move forward, or you can make the choice to advance your career and skills.
Choosing to advance your career and skills doesn’t mean that you need to begin working on them the day you leave the office. You have greater things at this point to think about and to take care of. However, by taking the time to plan the direction of your career and any professional development you may want involve yourself with while on leave is a significant step.
Professional development for a new mom is important regardless of what point you are at in your career prior to maternity leave. Whether you’re starting your career or fully established, professional development allows your career to steadily progress and opens the door to greater opportunities.
Although ‘free-time’ will not be readily available during your early months with baby, as time goes on you will establish balance and routine in your life. And when this time comes, you may find that you have time when baby is asleep to work on professional development by working on computer skills, reading industry books or familiarizing yourself with new territory in your career.
Perhaps you’ve considered taking your career in a new direction however didn’t know how to go about it while still at work. Once again, by enhancing your career skills, your resume and regaining your professional self-confidence, you can begin to approach employers of interest and possibly get your foot in the door towards the career of your dreams.
Like your baby, who will one day be taking his or her first step towards one day walking and then later running, you need to take baby steps towards creating the career of your dreams. By setting small goals (baby steps) to strive towards while on leave, you will eventually achieve your big goal (walking/running).
Maternity leave is the perfect opportunity to take control of your career, and ultimately earn more upon your return to work following maternity leave. The dream of career satisfaction and giving your baby the world can evolve to more than a dream.