Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your transition back to work and the added challenge of career development

This challenge is so common. First and foremost, you need to have a formal discussion with your manager. Ask your manager what career progression opportunities are available in your current role. Be frank and ask the questions so you don't get stuck in the same role for the next few years. Also, find out what programs/courses your organisation offers to get up to speed.

Consider finding a mentor – either at your work or outside of work. Choose someone who you admire and who is achieving the same career milestones that you aspire to. Ideally they will be a parent too. Or else there may be women's networking groups in your area.

In the end, it is all about a game plan, so think about doing a mind map on a piece of paper with spikes to things like:
• What am I good at?
• What are my core skills?
• What is my dream role?
• What knowledge gaps do I have?
• What courses are available to fill these knowledge gaps?

Importantly for many return to work parents, half of the challenge is knowing that there is complete organisation on the home front so you can focus on work when you are at work.

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