It can be a daunting prospect, to go back to work. From the perspective of the woman who has been home looking after children, it can be overwhelming and intimidating, depending on how long you have been out of the traditional workforce. Unfortunately, there is still a deeply ingrained bias within the world of work. It ignores the value-added skills a mother has, both innately, and learned from their experiences as a parent. At dotgap, we believe Motherhood is no reason to feel as though you can’t go back to your career in media.
Read on for our tips on how to take back your job.
Why Is Media So Difficult To Return To?
Media careers are often hard-earned and low paid, with a lot of emphasis placed on work experience. Taking time away can make you feel as though you’ve lost the momentum you’ve likely spent years building. Both media and marketing are fast-paced industries, changing more rapidly than ever with new technologies and software being released all the time. A year or two out of work and you can feel really out of the loop!
There are a lot of articles out there talking about using your time as a mother to take courses and learn new skills. However, motherhood is already demanding you learn, on the job, every day. So, how can you stay in the know?
- Try to use social media to connect with other women in the industry or the company you are interested in. If you can find a good mentor this way, it would be invaluable.
- Industry podcasts are a great way to keep on top of the hottest topics.
- You could also set up industry news alerts on your phone so you get the latest information wherever you are.
Talk About The Skills You Have Gained Through Motherhood
This is an important one. Don’t shy away from the things you have learnt and tasks you have achieved while you have been working as a mother. Much like we talked about in our post about writing a CV in 2022, you need to be upfront and open about what you’ve done at home. Don’t be embarrassed to use examples from your home life to demonstrate how you can juggle tasks and get things done.
For example: Planning a wedding is not something we might think to cite as experience on a CV. It can, however, be a fantastic example of dealing with multiple suppliers and stakeholders, multitasking under pressure, and working to a deadline!
Every day, mums have to look after other lives as well as their own. This ultimately means using the time in a day effectively. It is easy enough to fill a day with one person’s needs, for example, eating, exercising, work, rest and play. But if you double or triple this responsibility you’ve got to be seriously good at organisation and time management.
Prioritising tasks is a natural part of day-to-day life as a mother. This can be transferred to managing workloads or a team of people in the workplace.
Communication and Negotiation
As a mother, it is a natural and an instinctive skill to speak clearly and comprehensively, especially with young children. Instructions are given simply, and tasks are explained with patience and clarity. This is a skill which has enormous value in the workplace. The negotiation skills required to calmly talk a toddler out of a meltdown can make mums excellent colleagues, easy to talk to and patient with questions.
This patience and approachability give mums a specific skillset which can make them great managers, better than other candidates in many circumstances.
Working Under Pressure
Any new parent has to quickly learn how to handle a range of previously unknown situations. This adaptability is undervalued by employers in the workplace. Mums can react and adapt to new situations quickly and calmly, while meeting ever-changing and often immediate deadlines.
Be Clear About Your Needs
Use those excellent communication and negotiation skills learned through motherhood when discussing any role with a potential employer.
- Make sure that any flexibility offered is actually flexible.
- Communicate clearly when you will be contactable to employers and colleagues (hours/working days).
- Don’t be afraid to bring up remote working or flexible home working options.
- Be clear about plans for potential kids’ sick days, you can ask the agency if they have days off available for dependents?
It will not be the same experience as before, so don’t expect it to be! However, if the last few years has taught us anything, it is that flexibility and remote working situations can, and do, work. Parents juggled careers and home schooling alongside illness and day-to-day life, showing us that traditional workday setups aren’t the only way to work.
And One More Thing …
Don’t pay attention to the narrative and bias – motherhood does not make you a high-risk employee, but instead, you offer high potential. Highlight the qualities like patience, commitment and determination you can bring to the roles. Remember to communicate clearly about your needs and requirements, and you will foster a long-lasting and productive working relationship.
Are you looking to get back to your media career? Head to our jobs page for the latest digital postings.
Tags: 2022, career change, career goals, career progression, digital marketing job search, finding a job, marketing jobs, motherhood, recruitment, recruitment agency