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It's time to return to work

It’s back to school time for thousands of children across the UK, but for parents with children beginning school for the first time, it could be time to consider returning to work.

You may be chomping at the bit to return to work after being at home for four years or longer watching your little one grow up, or, you may be nervously avoiding the topic, letting it worry at your conscience.

Did you know that the average family spends £489 per week, with young families especially burdened with increasing living costs?

With this in mind, it’s often not an option for a parent to continue staying at home once their child is in school during the day – they have to earn.

What do you want to do?

The majority of parents determinedly tell their children that they can be anything they put their mind to being – so what about you?

If your career before children made you fulfilled and happy, then it’s an obvious choice to begin looking for work in the same field, especially if it’s something you know you can excel in.

However, this is perhaps one of the main times in life you could consider other options – is there anything else you can imagine yourself doing?

Starting from scratch with a small child to consider too may be a little intimidating.

Indeed, you may decide it’s not the right time and opt for a career you’re already trained in. 

If you’re only looking for part time work to supplement the bills rather than fully support the household there’s less pressure on the situation.

Where can you shine?

  • Do you work well with people?
  • Has having a child taught you the arts of patience and perseverance?
  • What interests you?
  • Do you prefer physical work or working on a computer?
  • How clearly can you communicate and present ideas?
  • Is there anything you’re passionate about?

Asking yourself these questions is a good place to start.

Some of your answers may indicate a lack of confidence or gap in skillset, giving you areas to concentrate on improving before applying for roles.

Preparing for work

It’s never too late to learn a new skillset, and there are tonnes of training options out there you could invest in.

This could be just to recap on an industry you’ve been away from for awhile – particularly in IT for example where change is fast paced and ways of doing things quickly become obsolete if you do not keep up with them.

Or, you could train in a completely new area, and use the transferable skills you’ve been using daily since becoming a parent such as organisation, leadership, and forward planning, to open new doors.

A good example of this could be training as a project manager through your CAPM or agile certification – you could be leading teams in no time.

Taking it slowly

Remember that it may take some time to readjust to a workplace, so taking it slowly at first is a good idea.

Instead of having a toddler tantrum, a fellow colleague may be harder to read.

Taking some time to get to know your colleagues will pay dividends and make the adjustment back into work that little bit easier.

Remember, asking questions is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of someone eager to learn.

Taking time to write down key things from the day – whether that’s names, products, prices, values or timescales – is a great way to reflect on this new environment you’ve placed yourself in and think of any questions you may have.

From everyone here at the Learning People – welcome back!