Home > Life > Money > An Experts’ Guide To Juggling Mum-Life And Career

Navigating motherhood is a journey to say the least. One big part of that journey for many is juggling the world of work, with caring for your most precious person. And it’s not easy. But it doesn’t have to be impossible either. We spoke to Tobi Asare from My Bump Pay, who is an expert on where mum-life meets career, to give us advice on how to manage the tensions between the two.

If you’re pregnant and worried about telling your workplace, Tobi says being prepped to give the news is key

Be sure to set up an online meeting (in person if possible) and have a conversation, these things are hard to discuss over email. Do have some facts at your fingertips when asked, for example your due date and your initial thoughts about maternity leave. Consider how your absence might affect both your own job and the business as a whole and make some constructive suggestions. If you have any ideas about cover for your job whilst you’re away, make sure you share them. It’s also more than ok to have a list of questions written down so you don’t forget to ask anything important.

If you are unhappy in your job or the industry you work in and thinking about changing your career, Tobi suggests first, identifying your transferable skills

If you’re thinking about changing up your career, first, I would advise to draw upon your tangible achievements. Write down a list of what you have achieved in your current role and any other recent roles. Be sure to document your achievements in numerical form e.g. saved the business £x over x months. Recalling your achievements is a great place to start because it will help you to assess your tangible transferable skills. In addition to this it will help you to communicate your value in applications and interviews.

Secondly, I would be sure to connect with your network. This could be people you went to university with, former colleagues, friends and family. Speak to people you think are doing interesting things in sectors that you could potentially find exciting. From those conversations try to glean what their industries are like, what you need to succeed in these roles and if your skills could transfer. Connecting with your network is a powerful step, as a high percentage of roles are never advertised and are filled through personal networks. Thirdly speak to other parents. Find how well their sector or organisation supports working parents and if it a culture where you will be able to thrive.

A lot of us may have found it really scary letting go of our careers when having kids, Tobi wants you to feel comfortable pressing pause

Having a baby is an incredible time of learning and growth where you gain new transferable skills. It also brings a tremendous amount of clarity that can work in your favour when it comes to not giving up on our careers. Remember how long you take off for maternity leave is totally your choice and you don’t have to take off the full 52 weeks.

Secondly you can maintain in communication with your network and or colleagues to help you feel a part of what is happening in your industry. This will help you feel less like you have taken a pause and help you to keep your finger on the pulse.

Lastly, I always encourage women to prepare for their return before they go on maternity leave. This will help you to put your career in the best position possible before taking off for maternity leave.

Above all this is such a special time so, soak it all it and take lots of pictures because it goes by so quickly.

Tobi says that keeping in touch with work on maternity is doable, if that’s what feels right for you

There are some really simple things that you can do you help strengthen your career on maternity leave.

The first could be to set up google alerts for your industry and have the emails go into a separate folder. Now and again, you can read through the emails to stay abreast of key changes in your industry.

Book a keeping in touch session/day. More and more these can be done online and more flexibly than previously. You can discuss breaking up a full day into a number of sessions. Keeping in touch sessions are incredibly useful to stay in touch with the business or even do additional training.

It is also more than ok to be vocal and communicate your career goals that you have even whilst on maternity leave. Doing this helps to ensure you are top of mind when decision are being made at work that have an impact on your career.

Managing mum-guilt – is that even a possibility? Tobi thinks so

Going back to work is filled with lots of emotions. A big part of working means that we are stepping into a big change from being with our children for long periods of time to now spending more time away from them.

Remember you’re why. Why are you heading back to work, for many it is for financial reasons and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Remind yourself you are heading back to work for very honourable reasons. Secondly, I always encourage parents to embrace the fact that retuning back to work means that you won’t be able to be there for every moment with your child, but you will certainly be there for a number of important moments. It will mean that weekends become time where you can really invest into spending time with your family. Don’t forget to schedule in important time to yourself also.

If you would like to benefit from any of the resources that My Bump Pay has to offer to help you on your motherhood and work journey, then sign up the to My Bump Pay mailing list here – www.mybumppay.com to be the first to hear about the My Bump Pay Masterclasses. All Mum Club Members will receive 15% off using the code MUMCLUB15

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