Maternity Leave & Job Hunting #Superwoman
Add "Mommy" to your resume! It is rewarding but definitely a full-time position within itself. I have a bunch of friends and colleagues expanding their families but also looking to expand their careers as well. As a Mommy to two active kids, I think anything is possible even while making runs to daycare and answering emails at PTA meetings. So what happens after your announcement is made, you start your FMLA leave (hopefully you take all 12 weeks!) and transition from career to maternity? There is no easy guide or real checklist... I wish there was though! But there are ways to combat your anxiety and begin your transition to a new role or staying in your current.
If you are staying:
- Ask your boss for a meeting about 3 weeks before you come back to work. It is good to check in-- see what has changed and prepare for those changes, if possible
- See if you can meet with anyone that took over your work or you delegated some of your duties to while you were out. I bet they will be MORE than happy to get you up to speed so you can take something off their desk!
- See if there were any significant adjustments in your role. Discuss what this would mean for your return. Preparation after pregnancy is key-- keeps your professionalism in tact and helps your credibility.
- Lastly discuss what your new role of 'Mommy' means for upcoming months. Trust me, the first year is unpredictable and you want to see where your employer (better yet, your immediate boss) feels on new additional responsibilities.
If you are looking for a new role:
- Update your resume and Linkedin profile before your FMLA leave begins. It takes some time of personal marketing to let the masses know you are looking. Again, be prepared.
- Keep in touch with any colleagues that potentially could act as references or allies for your career transition. No employer wants to get a reference check call for an employee out on maternity leave! Be discreet but professional.
- Assess why you are looking to leave. A new employer may not be as flexibility or be familiar with your professional reputation to handle the news of a newborn.
- Try on your interview suit about 6 weeks after birth (or whenever you are comfy) I hate surprises... especially with my clothes. Presentation is everything so if you need another suit until your body adjusts back... it's good to know ahead of time!
- Begin looking at job boards(Linkedin, Monster, Indeed, niche sites) and assess the jobs that are a match. Begin applying before going on leave so you can gain traction on your search while you are out.
- Stay positive, rested and focus on one of your greatest accomplish-- childbirth!! Relish the moments.
Get ready, girl! This is about to a roller coaster of emotions and activity. Preparation helps get the nerves together. Make sure you plan as best as you possible can. You can do it!