Before I had my twins I was 110% engaged and energized by my career. While pregnant I was entirely certain that I’d continue my career in corporate HR after maternity leave. I looked forward to advancing in my company and taking on additional professional challenges.
It was a surprise that I felt completely different once Hillary and Luba were born. I became increasingly anxious about returning to work and I wasn’t as excited about my role or organization as I had been prior to my maternity leave. My husband and I considered the high costs of childcare and decided that I would stay home while the girls were in their early years.
It was such a relief to make that decision! After an exhausting year of caring for newborns, I was finally feeling more at ease as a mother. And, it was just starting to get really fun for me.
Working part-time helped supplement our family’s finances and it felt great to contribute by eliminating childcare expenses while earning some extra income. I revitalized my fitness career by teaching classes where childcare was available and personal training in the evenings and weekends when my husband was home.
So began my journey of career reinvention. Using my Human Resources and recruiting knowledge, I began coaching other moms on their job search strategies and resumes. After two and a half years of staying home with my daughters I officially launched my business, CareerFit Mom.
What Is Next For You?
I’ve worked with many moms who transition their professional lives into something that is a better fit for them and their families. I love uncovering the varying career options my clients have and supporting them while they look for a new position. I often see opportunities for others that they’ve never considered for themselves!
If you think you might want to try a new career direction, begin by identifying what you love to do. I did a video a few years ago to help you start thinking about your transferrable skills. Brainstorm the tasks you enjoy in your current and previous positions, your day-to-day life and the things you do for fun. Write everything down so you can come back to these skills when researching new job opportunities, writing your resume and discussing your personal brand.
What experiences do you have that will be relevant to another career? Look at some lists of transferrable skills and write down accomplishments you’ve had that demonstrate those skills. For example, accomplishments related to the transferrable skill Verbal Communication could include:
- public speaking to groups of up to 100
- establishing buy-in with internal/external stakeholders
- managing direct reports with clear instructions
- translating complex financial data into easy to understand concepts
Going through this transferrable skill exercise creates more content for your resume and LinkedIn profile – all tools you’ll need as you launch your new job search.
Talk It Out:
Finding a new job is often a numbers game – the more you speak positively about your search, the more it becomes top of mind for others and the more likely you are to get a crucial referral. So when someone asks, “what’s new?” engage them in your goals by responding, “I’ve recently decided to make a career change and have had great success with networking. Here’s the role I’m considering…do you know anyone who might be able to help me?”
Enjoy The Journey
I meet many mothers who cannot imagine returning to their previous job after maternity leave. For some, the work isn’t interesting enough for them to want to leave their children. Others have terrible commutes or the work hours aren’t family friendly. Whatever your reason for wanting to reinvent your career, know that the journey to finding your next step may be challenging. But it is a process in which you get to really know yourself and create more balance in your life as a working mom.