Mastering the Art of Becoming a Working Mum | CBCC News

Working Mums

Mastering the Art of Becoming a Working Mum | CBCC News

With a new year comes new changes and challenges.

For some, the changes could be small. For others, it could mean the start of completely new chapters. For women thinking of becoming a working mum as their children start school in the new year, it could mean a total shift in their lifestyles. The journey of establishing a balance between motherhood with work can be both exciting and challenging.

In Australia, more and more women are choosing to find the balance between career woman and mother. Labour force and census data revealed that the proportion of dual-earner families has increased to 71% in Australia, nearly double the level in 1979.

Why Are More Women Choosing To Become Working Mums?

The main reason for most Australian mothers with young children looking to return to work is financial. The impact of of rising interest rates, soaring inflation, and an overall surge in living costs means that families require two incomes to alleviate financial strains.

Although the expenses of childcare in Australia have historically made it financially unviable for women to work more than three days a week, improved access to quality childcare, paid parental leave, and workplace flexibility is prompting many Australian women to become a working mum.

Another reason why mothers may want to return to work is to become a role-model for their children. By being able to show their children from a young age how to maintain a work-life balance, stay focussed, and demonstrate essential skills like time management or staying organised, working mums can help their children develop essential life skills and strong work ethic.

Many mums also seek to return to work because they desire personal fulfilment and professional challenges that are unrelated to their families. With rising numbers of female graduates from higher education, women are increasingly recognising the importance of reclaiming their identities and using their education and experience for their careers.

Regardless of their motivation, returning to work after taking parental leave can remain daunting and challenging.

Working Mums

Challenges Facing Wannabe Working Mums

One of the most significant challenges for women who are looking to become a working mum is adapting to the mountain of new responsibilities, time constraints, and the sheer balancing act of maintaining both a career and a family.

Although some mothers can benefit from supportive partners and/or older family members who can take over childcaring duties, the economic implications of needing childcare can limit how much work a working mum can actually do. Needing to manage the intricate logistics of balancing childcare, deadlines, and work commitments can be intensely stressful for the whole family.

For those who dedicated years to full-time motherhood, returning to a previous career role can be quite a scary process. Many women face concerns about skill retention and adaptation. The emotional tug-of-war between professional commitments and the desire to be present for one’s children can cause even more distress, making women contemplating returning to work feel like juggling it all is an unattainable feat.

Some common doubts shared by mothers wanting to go back to work include:

  • Am I still competent in my career? The fear of outdated skills can cause many mums to question their competence in their chosen field.
  • Can I juggle my career and my family? Trying to strike a balance between family responsibilities and excelling at work can trigger self-doubt about managing multiple roles.
  • Have I lost career progress? Mums often wonder whether their career trajectory has stagnated during their hiatus.
  • Will I be judged for prioritising work? Balancing work and family can bring feelings of guilt and uncertainty, with mums fearing judgment for focusing on their careers.
  • How will my child be affected by my going back to work? Many mums feel concerns about the impact of returning to work on their child’s well-being and development.
  • Am I making the right choice? The overarching question of whether returning to work aligns with their family’s needs and personal aspirations can be a source of deep self-doubt.
Working Mums

How To Successfully Become A Working Mum

Ready to embark on a journey to return to work and become a working mum? Here are 4 practical tips to kickstart your job hunt, upgrade skills, and navigate your return to the professional realm with confidence.

Know Why You’re Going Back to Work

First things first: be clear about why you want to go back to work. Be honest about your needs. The clearer you are about what you want and why, the easier it is to kick off your job search. Are you looking for part-time work to fit into your child’s school schedule, or are you ready to return to a full-time position?

Think about the location and schedule too. If you need to be close to home, that hour-long commute might not be your best bet. Flexibility is key, and don’t rule out interesting job postings just because they don’t fit the traditional 9-5 mould. Apply, talk to the hiring manager, and figure out what works for you.

Freshen Up Your Online Presence

It’s time for a facelift! Your social media game isn’t just for your personal life; give your professional profiles a makeover as well.

Got LinkedIn? If not, it’s time to get on it. As the number one professional social media network, having a LinkedIn profile is like a beacon for recruiters. If you’re in a creative field, update your portfolio to showcase your skills. Join industry-related groups online, start conversations, and make connections. Your online presence matters more than you think.

Upgrade Your Skills

Being a mum is a skill in itself, but it’s important to get specific for the job hunt. Your masterful multitasking and organisational skills are gold, but most jobs will need a bit more than being superhuman at juggling 10 tasks at once.

Depending on your industry, things might have changed since you last worked. Take the time to read up on new developments, take refresher courses, and check if there are any new certifications or skills you might need. For example, if you’re eyeing a web design job, brush up on the latest platforms.

Make Friends in High (Job) Places

Before you dive into job applications, get your networking game on.

Know the lay of the land in your industry and get to know some key players. Ask for quick chats with people in the field or companies you’re eyeing. Alumni groups or parent organisations are good starting points, especially since there will be more people in those groups who are also parents and will understand the unique challenges that come from being a working parents.

When you send out that resume, you want to be a person, not just a list of skills. Networking is your backstage pass to the job market.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”

– Lou Holtz

As you start the process of becoming a working mum, these actionable tips will serve as your compass on your journey to return back to work.

Although the journey may seem daunting, but armed with clarity, a refreshed skill set, and valuable connections, you will be well-equipped to triumph in the professional realm. Embrace this transformative phase with confidence, and recognise the unique strengths that you’ve gained during motherhood. Your path back to the workforce isn’t just a career relaunch; it’s a celebration of your resilience and adaptability. With these insights, you’re not just stepping back into the workforce; you’re stepping into a new chapter of professional success and personal growth.

Still feeling unsure about how to proceed? Join the CBCC’s BRAVE Return to Work program, which will give you the resources, guidance, and mentorship to boost your career comeback. If that seems like a huge step, join the next CBCC event to reignite your networks and share in our knowledge. We will always welcome you!

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Written by Collappor8
Collappor8 - Business Redesigned. We’re a one-stop-shop for businesses that need a strategy, and people to execute those strategies. Call us when you're ready to make real changes!

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