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Returning to work following maternity leave?

Posted by: Suzi Parkinson
16/05/2016

Returning to work after any period of time off can be daunting.

Those months away from the workplace can leave you stressing that all your skills and ability have somehow disappeared and you’ve forgotten how to do your job. These fears are no doubt unfounded and after 26 – 52 weeks off, you will still be the competent and skilled working woman that you were before. Often, the transition back into the working world can be difficult for working mothers and your confidence can dip leaving you feeling vulnerable and insecure and questioning about where and how will you fit back in. To help ease the transition you could consider a few of these suggestions:

  • Try reconnecting with your colleagues by having lunch with them before re-joining or taking your boss for a coffee.
  • Take time to plan your return date and perhaps start your first week on a Wednesday to ease back in rather than doing a full week immediately.
  • Ensure to plan your new routine, including factoring time for childcare requirements.
  • Don’t forget to ask for help in the first couple of weeks, you have only just returned after a long period away and you won’t be expected to know what has happened since you’ve been away.
  • Finally, above all, make sure you take the time to look after yourself, this transition can be challenging so don’t forget to give yourself a break or a treat amongst your work and family commitments.

Once you’ve conquered returning to work and established a routine, the last thing you want to think about is being discriminated against for being a working mother; however even in this day and age, this kind of discrimination rears its ugly head, so you are not alone if you experience this. Some mothers have reported that since returning to the workplace there is a lack of opportunity offered to them in comparison to before they took maternity leave, and they can often feel like they are now viewed as more “junior” within the company. Others have reported that they are left out of meetings; feel like they are starting from scratch in a company that they may have been at for many years; and that their colleagues don’t take them seriously. Most insultingly, comments about being “a part-timer” and leaving on time are being aimed at working mothers who need the flexibility to look after their dependents.

It is also worth noting here that less time in the office does not automatically equal less productivity. In these instances it is important not to suffer in silence; broach the subject of discrimination with your line manager, or perhaps someone higher up if your manager is causing the issue. Remember to record any relevant evidence including conversations that took place and any witnesses. Brush up on your legal rights as a working mother by consulting ACAS or the Citizens Advice Bureau for further information.

If you are a working mother who is looking for a new career move, perhaps in light of experiencing some of the difficulties above, why don’t you get in touch with Certus Recruitment Group today and join our team. We will value your new found skills as a mother including excellent time management, multi-tasking and creative problem solving. We can offer you flexible working or an alternative working pattern such as compressed hours, a delayed start or finish or remote working. As an SME, Certus Recruitment Group will give you the opportunities that a larger company may not such as more variety and responsibility in your job role, being empowered to make changes and implement your ideas much more quickly, as well as seeing how your skills are directly contributing to the growth and success of the company.
Certus Recruitment Group could offer you that fulfilling and exhilarating career move you’ve been looking for at this time.

 

 

 

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