After a long maternity leave, putting your work hat back on might seem a little odd, as if it just doesn’t fit the way it did before. While your life is decidedly different with a new child at home that doesn’t mean your career has to be put on hold. Motherhood could actually inspire you to make changes that could lead to an even more rewarding career in the long run.
Making the Change to Mompreneurship
Mompreneurs are a growing force within the economy. And why not? Women have mastered managing the home, and they are now bringing that management savvy into the business world.
Starting Your Own Business
Motherhood comes with many life changes, and a startup is very similar. It’s not surprising that many entrepreneurs call their business their “baby” because like the real deal, it needs a lot of your time and attention to nurture. While it may seem like a daunting task it is possible to start a business even if you’ve just had a baby. It’s not easy, but more and more new mothers are taking on startups
with or without the help of a stay-at-home dad. A major upside is you’ll be your own boss and have more flexibility for your motherly duties.
Moms are uniquely qualified for startups because they:
- Are up for handling challenges
- Are used to wearing multiple hats
- Are often the financial managers of their households
- Are just as passionate about creating something successful as everyone else
Just being a mother could be the ticket to creating a business of your own. Entrepreneur.com recently profiled three mompreneurs
that came up with super successful businesses based on their own needs as a mother. Had they never given birth they wouldn’t have become founders of their own company.
Many people are making the switch to freelancing, which comes with the ability to be flexible with your schedule. Essentially freelancers are their own bosses and oftentimes they are entrepreneurs in their own right. A study of freelance entrepreneurs
found that women in particular found the flex schedule as one of the biggest benefits of freelancing. Freelancing could also be a good way to ease into mompreneurship.
Using Your Newfound Mom Knowledge at the Office
Many moms decide to stay at their old jobs where they utilize their new experiences and knowledge to improve the workplace. It’s all about setting yourself up for success right from the get go.
Discuss Scheduling and Workload
– Before returning to work, have a frank discussion with your employer about any needed changes to your workload and schedule, including time to pump if you’re breast feeding. It may be easiest to ease back into work by starting part-time, or you can ask your employer to allow you to work from home part of the day. You’ve now got to balance work and home life even more than before, but having a child will definitely improve your balancing act abilities.
Having this discussion is also an opportunity to hone your negotiating skills
. Unlike a raise, caring for your child is a must that takes top priority. A Forbes article
on master negotiator Margaret Neale points out that women are often better at representative negotiating. That is, negotiating on the behalf of someone else instead of themselves. When you discuss the new work schedule approach it as if you’re a negotiating representative for your child, because at the end of the day it’s about what’s most beneficial to them not you.
Look Into Ways That You Can Improve Conditions for All Parents in Your Office
– Maybe you’re the first person in a startup to give birth or the last to finally have a child. Regardless, now that you’re getting back to work you may notice all the ways that your company could improve conditions for all the parents. Come up with a list of ideas to present to your boss, or discuss the possibility of creating a committee that spends a little time working to create a better, more conducive environment for moms and dads around the office.
Showing your employer that increasing the enjoyment of workers increases their productivity
and helps with retention could offset the time and expense spent on the project. Ideas worth considering are in-office day care, flex time during the week and the ability to monitor nanny cams from your desk.
Coming back to a career after maternity leave inherently comes with a lot of changes. Thankfully, it can also be an opportunity to get creative, overcome obstacles and figure out what work environment fits your life best.