Are You Considering a Career Change during Maternity Leave?

September 19th, 2009

If you’ve just become a first-time mum, you’re in all likelihood going through a host of emotions as you look ahead and see your maternity leave time counting down, day by day. On the one hand you are overjoyed with your new family life, with the prospect of spending a lot of time with your newborn and harnessing all your maternal instincts to do what mums do best. On the other hand, you’re more than a little bit daunted by the challenge of bringing up the baby and cannot imagine how you are going to cope with a schedule of work as well.

Before you had any idea that you were pregnant or were aware that your life was about to take an entirely new direction, your planned out career path seemed perfectly clear. That wasn’t the only thing that was clear either, as you were well aware of the long hours that you were putting in and the way that your career was already biting into your valuable personal time.

For mothers around the world, childbirth is an amazing life-changing experience. It ranks so highly on the list of life-changing events that it usually leads to all sorts of changes in other areas of your life too. A career change by itself is not to be taken lightly, but sometimes events can form a catalyst for change and as you have effectively paused for thought during your maternity leave this might well be the time to steer your career ship in a different direction.

If you’ve been thinking about other options, why not use this valuable time away from your job to carefully consider all the positives and negatives? This may be the perfect time to look into some online life coaching sites, which are supurb at helping you to organise your priorities and discover what’s really best for you. There’s no reason to worry about seeking out professional coaching, as with any kind of career change, it’s a major decision which could greatly impact several areas of your own life, as well as the lives of your other immediate family members and you new baby too.

Often a career change can be just the spark that you want and can be driven by the natural enthusiasm that you now feel following your childbirth. Some women feel that they can take on the world after giving birth and this natural euphoria could really help you to make a go of your alternative career path.

If you find that, deep down, you are dreading the thought of returning to your old job and that you feel your career may have stagnated somewhat before you took your time off, then you really should reconsider everything. Sometimes it is better to get the view of a “third party,” or someone who is not a direct family member or even a close friend, as an impartial opinion could be very important at this stage. Specialised services offer coaching for women in your position and may well be able to offer you options which you had not even considered as yet.

When you talk to a professional coach you will be prompted to go through the positive and negative, and you may be able to unveil some underlying reasons why you are thinking so much about a career change. It might not just be something as obvious as the commute time, it may also be to do with the flexibility that a career working from home, for example, could provide.

Always consider your relationship with your current employer when considering a career change during maternity leave. Make sure that you read the terms of your current agreement and always keep them in the loop as early as possible, and especially as soon as you have made your decision.

Amanda Alexander is the Founder and Inspiration behind Coaching Mums. She’s a distinguished ICF accredited coach, who for almost seven years now, has been bringing a new feeling of hope into the lives of working moms from around the world, showing them how to discard their guilt, rediscover their passions and to have a lot more fun! For amazing articles and truly effective professional coaching tips, sign up to get “Inspire” right away, our absolutely outstanding free newsletter!

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