There’s something about parenthood that makes us think about our lives and whether they are what we want them to be. A big part of this is taking our careers into account and whether we’re doing the right job for us. Up until the birth of your child you most probably thought of your job simply as a way to earn an income. However, now that you’ve got a little person who you are totally and completely in love with, the chances are that you’re not keen on returning to a job that you don’t love. Why would you spend time away from your child to go to a job that you don’t enjoy doing?
Studies have shown that a lot of women choose to make a career change after having a baby as they start to contemplate leaving their little one with a childminder just to go to a job that they hate. So if you’re contemplating changing a career post-baby, it can definitely be done – lots of new parents have done it. However, before you inform your boss that you plan on resigning, it’s important to make sure that a career change is the right choice for you. The last thing you want to do is quit your job only to find that your new career path isn’t what you thought it would be.
With that in mind, below are some tips and advice for changing career post-baby. Have a read and take these on board, and you can ensure that you know what to expect when it comes to making a career change.
Be sure it’s what you want
A lot of women feel trapped by their career after having a baby, wishing that they could stay at home for longer with their child. It’s this feeling that causes a lot of us to wonder whether our jobs are actually worth leaving our child for. So we start to think about the type of role that would be worth leaving our kids for, which leads us to consider a career change. However, before you make any decisions, it’s important to ensure that a career change is really what you want. It could be that you are just worried about leaving your child, not that you actually want to change careers. Take some time to think about this and whether you would be happier to leave your child if you had a different career. If the answer is no, then it’s probably best to stick at your current job – leaving your baby will be hard at first but in time you will adjust. However, if the answer is yes, then a new job could be the answer.
Don’t rush things
Once you have decided to make a career change, it’s tempting to hand in your notice. However, it’s silly to rush the process, especially as there’s no guarantee that you will get a new job right away. So before your rush into making a mistake, take the time to think things through. Spend some time doing some research into the career path that you want to go down and find out what you will need to do to get started. For researching your dream role, the internet is a vital resource. Use career’s websites to read up on the role, salary, and what you will need to land it. If you want to learn more about what it would involve, perhaps you could try and contact someone who’s already working in that type of role. That way you could have a chat to them, ask them questions, and see what the role is actually like, this should help to give you an idea of whether it’s the right role for you.
Know what your strengths are
Admittedly, there are some career paths that qualifications are crucial for, but there are others that you can work your way up in. Take marketing, for instance; you don’t necessarily need a degree to work in marketing. Instead, if you already have skills in this area, you may be able to work your way up by working as part of a marketing company, learning on the job. Roles that don’t require training can be good because they are easier to get into and won’t require you to spend time training. However, to find these types of roles you need to know what your strengths are, and you need to have experience in your chosen area. Even if you are going down a career path that requires training – something that we’ll discuss more below, it’s important to know your strengths. For instance, say you fancy working in the media, it’s important to know where your skills and interests lie. This is important so that you are able to specialize in one area and up your chances of career success.
Understand that you may need to retrain
It’s important to understand that part of changing careers is that you may need to take some time out to retrain. Of course, this depends on what career path you want to go down. However, if you are hoping to do something that requires a certain set of skills, such as working in midwifery or another area of medicine, you will need to be willing to undertake training. This may mean attending a college or university, or you may be able to study from home, depending on the type of qualification that you need. The good news is that should you need to retrain, you should be able to get help covering the cost of retraining. There are various loans and grants available; it’s just a case of working out what you are eligible for. To do this, the best thing to do would be to consult a financial advisor, as they should be able to explain what your options are in terms of finance.
Know that it will take time
It’s important to understand that changing career paths will take time. Even if you don’t need to undertake any qualifications, changing career paths will always take time. You will need to spend time getting any skills that you lack, gaining relevant experience, and then applying for jobs. It’s also important to understand that like with any role; you will need to work your way up. Changing career paths isn’t something that is quick and easy to do, it will be time-consuming. However, if your new career will make you happier and more willing to leave your child, it’s something that’s worth taking the time to do. Don’t let the time it will take to get to where you want to be, put you off from achieving your dreams.
Find a good childminder
If you are going to be able to focus on your new career path, you are going to need to find a good childminder. As a parent, it’s important to find someone who you like and are able to trust, so that when it comes to leaving your child with them, you feel happy and comfortable. It will never be easy saying goodbye to your little one, but if you are heading to a job that you love, it will be easier. If you aren’t keen on leaving your little one with someone that you don’t know, consider asking a friend or relative to look after them. The chances are that if your little one is with their grandparents, aunt, or another relative, you will feel better about leaving them.
Pick a career that’s family-friendly
Last but not least, if you are going to swap to a new career, then it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s a career that is family-friendly. This means choosing a career path that won’t require you to work constantly and will offer you a good balance in terms of your work life and your personal life. It’s also a good idea to look at roles that will give you the weekends off, so that when your little one starts school, etc. you are able to be at home with them on the weekends. For this reason, office-based roles tend to be good. Especially roles that only require you to work nine until five each day, as that way you can drop your child to school before starting work. Then after school, you can either enroll them in a kid’s club or use a childminder to take care of them until your finish work.
So there you have it, everything that you need to know about starting a new career after having a baby. Although it might not seem like a good time to swap careers, believe it or not, it’s one of the most common times for a career change. This is because a lot of new parents decide that if they are going to spend time away from their little ones, it needs to be to go to a job that they love. If you’re feeling the same way, hopefully, the tips above will help you to decide whether a career change is right for you.