Lots of moms decide to return to work after giving birth, whether they do so within months of their child’s birth or years later, or on a part or full-time basis. Unfortunately, many of these women find that having taken a break from their career, they face a more difficult journey in terms of progression and development. Their industry may have moved on, and they could be missing key skills, or they may decide that the work they did before motherhood no longer suits their interests or family commitments. If you are a working mom looking to improve your professional prospects, here are four career advancement tips to consider.
- Complete an online degree
Whether you are already on your preferred career path or are considering venturing into a new one, a bachelor’s degree will widen your knowledge, hone your existing skills, and maximize your earning potential. Of course, studying for a degree at the same time as looking after your family and holding down your current job is difficult to do, not to mention the issue of funding the course. Luckily, though, with an online degree program, you can study at home, at your own pace, and spread the cost via a payment plan. Visit https://online.merrimack.edu/online-bachelor-degree/ for more information on how you can further your career with online study.
- Step outside your comfort zone
Our children thrive when they have routine and familiarity, but as adults, we need to be challenged and have the opportunity to grow to feel intellectually fulfilled. When you are open to taking risks and stepping outside of your professional comfort zone, you will grow and discover new professional challenges which can lead to a more successful career. If your employer gives you the chance to complete additional training or you can volunteer for extra projects, put yourself forward.
- Balance realism with optimism
While you might want to work all the hours you can until you have achieved your professional objectives, the reality is that you have a child or children now, and your priorities have changed. Be realistic about the amount of work you can take on without draining yourself of all your energy. You may believe you can work a full-time job and still be home in time to spend time with your family, but you need to account for the fact that you will not be at your best mentally and physically. Take care of yourself to ensure you can give your best to both sides of your life and set your boundaries, e.g. do not check work emails or answer work calls outside of working hours.
- Build yourself up
When returning to the world of work or facing a new challenge, it is natural to feel apprehension and about what is to come. This can often manifest as negative self-talk, i.e. convincing yourself that you are not up to the task and that you should not try in case you fail. When these thoughts pop up, challenge them. What evidence do you have which proves those thoughts wrong? What is your next goal, and what small steps do you need to take to reach it? What is your motivation to continue? By maintaining a positive attitude and being motivated, you will increase your chances of success and set a wonderful example for your children.