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Finding a job after parental leave seems very daunting no matter how much experience you have. Returning to work and a new way of balancing work and family life is at best a challenge. Therefore, it is important that you take the right steps to enter this new phase of your career as a new parent.
We've summarized some of the best tips we've seen from our readers, and advice from professionals on what worked best for them. This information will hopefully help you make the right decisions when you find a job after parental leave.
Consider part-time before working full-time again
One of the biggest challenges in finding a job after parental leave is finding the right role you need for your career advancement, satisfying your family unit and your new way of working.
First relax with part-time hours in the working world. This will help you get familiar with your work again – and your child can adapt to school or childcare. Freelance work is often good for flexible working hours – or you can volunteer to build your self-confidence again.
Many construction sites offer part-time or freelance jobs as part of their offers:
Just make sure to check the "Part time", "Freelancer", "Remote" or "Volunteer" options when browsing the endless page of available offers. You will find a role that suits your career goals and family situation and helps you make money – the magic triangle!
Organization and budgeting of childcare
This is an important priority for all parents who return to work after parental leave. If you have the right support at home to ensure that your child (ren) is looked after, you will have more freedom to find your way around in your new role.
It is entirely up to you to organize a babysitter or nanny for a few days a week, including a full-time carer or internal help. Other parents wait until their children can go to kindergarten or school, which means that they can work regularly. If you have someone who can look after your child in emergencies or during your working hours when she is not of school age, everyone can get into the routine. This is important for a sedentary child and happy parents!
It is important to make room for these expenses in your monthly or quarterly budgets. Reliable and safe childcare is expensive. However, as one of the hottest jobs this summer, there will be plenty of providers to choose from. Make sure you can afford to pay a reasonable price, and ask those in your neighborhood, city, and surrounding area about their average prices to meet your expectations.
Bring your parenting skills to market
Parenting is a full-time job in itself. Use these skills on your resume! What you learn as parents is transferable to almost every paid position. Your patience, organizational skills, time management, budget, employee skills, problem solving and ability to think on your feet are not skills that need to be downplayed or challenged. If you think that these are “soft skills” compared to the practical or field-specific skills, you have to change your attitude!
Finding work after parental leave is about presenting your skills with confidence and trusting that you can do the job well. All of these skills are incredibly useful, and a smart employer accesses and welcomes these bonuses.
Fix the gap in your resume
The fear of returning to work after parental leave explains this mysterious time gap in your resume and the feeling that you have to justify the fact that you took the time to start your own family. Over the years, many stories have emerged within the HR department that show how disapproving or judgmental future employers can be.
Ultimately, don't be afraid to fill the gap in your resume as family time. Many people take breaks from their careers during their lives and this is completely normal to experience. Employers appreciate taking time out to take care of their family. This shows many positive qualities such as empathy. So play with these strengths in your applications.
Returning to work is not an easy task, so we encourage you to do your best and proudly own it. Also, you now have new examples of all of these transferable skills that we mentioned to demonstrate!
Use existing connections in your network
As with any job search, using your existing connections on your network is a good step when you find a job after parental leave.
If you're asking your connections to find those looking for freelance or part-time work, this may be the best place to start. If you know of vacancies in certain areas or if you know of connections to companies that you have built in your list of ideal companies for which you want to work.
It's also a good idea to create a LinkedIn post for these connections that shows your availability, your previous work experience, the new role you're looking for, and when you're available. This makes it easier for more people to know the headlines about you and your situation immediately, and provides you with a good template and practice for the next step, reaching emails.
Finding a job after parental leave is not easy, but with these steps we hope that the search will be a bit easier.
More useful reading
More useful tips for parents and finances can be found in these articles: