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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

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70% of women feel that taking a career break and returning to work from maternity leave has made them feel less confident in their careers and hesitant to do so for fear of stigmatisation, and the consequences of their perceived lack of capabilities. The keyword in that sentence is ‘perceived’. It is easier to doubt yourself than to wholeheartedly believe in yourself and recognise that a career break isn’t the end of the world, as much as it may seem that way. 

The concept that your man will be the breadwinner and you will stay home, not to even consider going back to work after maternity leave is incredibly outdated. Motherhood can be boring and overwhelming and feeling useful outside of your status as a mother is something many women strive for but simultaneously shy away from for fear of the difficulty returning from maternity leave can bring. 

This article will help you realise that returning to work after maternity leave isn’t as overwhelmingly terrifying as you perceive it to be. Fortunately, the world has changed to be more understanding of motherhood and the accommodations that need to be made for it. 

Prepare thoughtfully

Returning from maternity leave does require planning. Although it isn’t as difficult as you may think, you still need to have a clear set of goals that ensure the best return to work for you and your family. It can be incredibly easy to spiral into a flurry of exaggerated thought patterns that the workplace has changed entirely, and you are an outdated ex-working woman who has no place in it. 

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But this simply isn’t true! Things may have altered, but so has your life! They say motherhood is a full-time job in and of itself, and they’re not wrong! Furthermore, you’ve adapted to your new life as a mother, so why shouldn’t you be able to adapt to returning to work too?

One of the best ways of going back to work after maternity leave is to ensure you’re still getting enough social interaction and mental challenges outside of your baby before you return to work. This is easier said than done, as you will feel your child is attached to you with super glue. But even just getting involved with mother’s clubs and taking the initiative to do some volunteering with your child will prove your motivation and multi-tasking skills to your potential employers and make you a desirable choice.

Additionally, you could make a LinkedIn profile! LinkedIn is a great way to keep potential employers aware of your work history, your current role as a mother, and your interest in returning to work. It is a great platform to help you put your foot in the door and can act as a confidence booster. 

Regain your confidence

Unfortunately, many women experience a lack of confidence after becoming mothers. Whether it is confidence in themselves or their professional skills, it can feed into every aspect of their life. Recognising that a career break does not negate the capabilities you had to succeed in your job before you left is invaluable when it comes to returning to work. 

Focusing on your skills, brushing up with courses and training, and realising your existing potential will make returning to work far easier. Your newfound confidence will inherently transform you into a desired candidate, and prevent you from apologising for your career break, as many women do. 

Your earning potential should not be compromised by your decision to start a family, and you should receive the compensation you deserve once you decide to return to work after maternity leave. So, having an enhanced sense of confidence will allow you to ask for what you need and provide the self-assurance you need to not feel inclined to explain yourself. 

Be selective with your potential employers

Going back to work after maternity leave should not cause you to compromise your needs. Although some employers will still have some catching up to do, there are thousands of employers out there who understand your situation and make every accommodation necessary to ensure a smooth transition back to work. 

A salary cut when returning from maternity leave is not a rule, but some employers argue that a mother who has been out of work for several years will have outdated skills that don’t warrant the same salary as someone currently in the workforce. However, a good employer will recognise that your skills, as outdated as you may feel they are, can be adapted and supported to make them invaluable. 

A good employer will provide intervention and targeted support to help you to regain your confidence and transform you into a highly-skilled, committed professional. You can afford to choose your employer, and ensure they will treat you the same as any employee, and disregard your “career break”. Your employer should embrace flexible working, be open to salary negotiation, and recognise your contribution to the company.

Take a stand if you’re unhappy

If you find that returning to work after maternity leave has been more difficult than you expected, and your employer isn’t fulfilling their promises to you, you need to be prepared to take a stand. As a mother, you have rights in the workplace, and you should know what they are so you don’t fall victim to maternity discrimination. 

Maternity discrimination is simply defined as when a mother is treated unfairly in the workplace. Unfair dismissal, denial of a pay increase, or having to take lower-paid work after returning from maternity leave are all examples of maternity discrimination, and you shouldn’t be afraid to address the problem. 

Hiring a maternity discrimination lawyer can be invaluable if you feel you’re experiencing maternity discrimination at work after returning from maternity leave. If you need employment solicitors in London, choose Didlaw! 

Don’t worry! 

Fortunately, the majority of employers are fair to those returning from maternity leave, and you shouldn’t encounter any problems. Be confident, assured in your skills, and know your rights, and returning to work after maternity leave will be simple!

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