Mother holding child's hand

In returning to the workforce we often feel we are lacking in some or many areas and instead of starting the process we ebb back into the comfort zone of what we know. However, what parents once knew is now merely a false existence.

There are no longer any babies, toddlers or other wee people that require our attention. Our children have made a huge quantum leap to go from kinder, preschool, reception to school or even going from primary to high school.  As parents we need to be prepared to take similar quantum leaps as we contemplate a return to the job market, no matter how uncomfortable it feels.

So how can we get our career mojo back?

One of the biggest steps is taking a step away from our child. We have co-existed for so long it’s hard to picture that we have a life, separate to our child’s.  We need to rediscover who we are as individuals. I have found the best way to do this is to reflect on my life journey so far. When I pen the highs the lows, I find there are themes to what I have loved and also some telling themes to the troughs. In essence careers can be crafted from the “what I love elements” and some of the lows may lead to contemplating careers in social work or community service.

The next thing I do is get a blank sheet of paper and write out all of my skills. I usually start with those that come to mind the quickest, remembering there is no right or wrong. I often start and write as many skills as I can. I then leave it for a few days and then come back and write some more. By doing this, I can start to regain an understanding of who I am.

I would encourage parents who are at the cross roads of their career to start; buy a journal, type it up, write some notes, just get it out. By feeling that we have value and worth in our own right we can start to gain the confidence to take the next step in our career search. Next we will explore our identity. Rediscovering who we are and what makes us tick.

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