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Mothers returning to work – go for it!
Tuesday 14 Oct 2014

A recent study published by the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of working mothers has soared, Almost 200,000 women in two-parent families with dependent children, have re-entered the workplace since 2011.

No matter why, today’s workforce is made up of more mothers than ever before.

Face your insecurities
In our experience this leap back into the working world can be a daunting one, so it’s important to start realistically, with a review of how these changing circumstances make you feel.

Lacking in confidence?
Disillusioned with the job you did before?
Guilty about leaving your children?
Worried you won’t remember how to do a job?
Fearful of the rapid changes that have taken place in sales and marketing?

It’s natural to be wary of change and returning to work either after a maternity leave or a longer period of childcare, can seem overwhelming.

Build a plan
Having children alters priorities and makes us rethink the future.  Likewise the decision to go back to work will have a big impact on yourself and your family, so take control and build a plan that works for you.

What do you want to achieve – 1/5/10 years from now?

Most people go back to work because they need the income, but putting that aside, it’s useful to consider what you ideally want to get from your next job, in both the short and long-term.  Ten years may seem like a long time away, but by then you and your family will have different needs.  Going back to work with a ‘wish list’ in mind, can help you put the various job options into perspective so you make the most suitable choice.

Imagine the possibilities
Now that you’ve decided what you’d like to accomplish, how are you going to achieve it?  Today’s working world may look very different from the one that you left.  Consider the pros and cons of part-time over full-time, retraining over returning to the same industry, job sharing, working from home – decide what would work best for you.

Overall, be glad of this chance to review your career options. Men often don’t get the same opportunity.

What do you have to offer?
Dust down that CV. Does it still do you credit? Don’t underestimate the new skills that motherhood brings – budgeting, negotiation, multi-tasking etc. There’s every possibility that your future interviewer is a mum too, who’ll fully appreciate the demanding role of motherhood. Even if this isn’t the case, taking a career break to have children is a perfectly legitimate addition to your CV.

Start networking
As soon as you’ve made the decision to go back to work, you should start familiarizing yourself with the role, companies and industry you’re considering. Read relevant press, speak to peers and use the Internet to get up to speed with social media and how you might be expected to use it. Building a network will not only make your job search easier, but it will be a support in the early weeks and months of transition.

What will potential employers be thinking?
Many returning mums fear discrimination in being interviewed and selected for a role. In reality, all potential candidates get the same 10-15 seconds of CV review by HR or the hiring manager. Every company is looking for the best candidate to do their job and at CV stage it’s unlikely they’ll know who does or does not have children.

It's illegal for employers and recruitment agencies to discriminate against candidates who may become pregnant at some stage in the future or who already have childcare responsibilities. Likewise, it’s illegal to ask about your family status at interview.

Once back at work, returning mums are often considered harder workers, having become skilled at balancing work and life so it’s important not to undervalue the skills and talents that you bring.

Useful links
30 min video giving a real overview of the return to work dilemma

Lots of useful references from CV building to interviewing many by mums for mums

Advice for working parents and employers about combining work and family

Talk to Denholm
As a specialist sales and marketing recruitment agency we help people at every stage of their job search. We’ll give you an honest assessment of your skills and recommendations to help you rejoin the working world with confidence.

What are you waiting for? Call +44 (0)1315546191 or email: