Coach Katerina Gould outlines some of the issues facing women who have taken career breaks, whether just maternity leave or longer periods of time out from the workplace.
When you’re trying to work out how to get back to work, facing a tricky transition or an unhelpful work environment, it is easy to feel alone and isolated. Workingmums.co.uk regularly hears from women who need advice on employment, childcare and other work-related issues. We also feature women who have successfully returned to work and found a way through the barriers they faced. These stories can be quite inspirational; they show how resourceful women are and provide useful guidance to others facing the same obstacles.
Women returning from a maternity leave can often be worried about how they will balance their dual roles of mother and employee and many find that leaving their child is hard. Women can also be concerned that they are out of practice with their role or that it has changed while they have been on leave. For some, taking back their role from the person who has covered it for them can be uncomfortable and others may worry that people will have forgotten about them while they were on leave.
For women who have taken a longer career break, there are additional concerns about changes in their industry and how technology has moved on. Often women do not want to return to the field they were in previously but can be unclear about what direction they would like to pursue. Underlying all these concerns is often a loss of confidence which can result from the change of their identity from working women to stay-at-home mum, as well as an absence of regular, positive feedback from those around them.
Over the coming months we will be featuring stories of women who have successfully returned from work following both maternity leave and longer career breaks. We hope you will find them inspiring and we would love to hear your own stories and share your success with others.
Katerina Gould [pictured] is founder of the executive coach and career consultancy business Thinking Potential. Workingmums.co.uk will be running a series of articles on returning to work after a career break. Katerina will be leading seminars on returning to work at Workingmums LIVE event in London on 27th March. Email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.