Daily, the issue of women losing their self confidence while away from the workforce perplexes me. Don't get me wrong - I understand it because it happenened to me. But after my 2rd child, this issue no longer consumed me. Probably because I had gone back to work each time and found that feeling insecure about returning to the workforce was a waste of head space. What I found (post babies) is that the workforce is full of time wasters. I discovered that my contribution was so much more valuable - even in a part time capacity. And you don't lose your skills; on the contrary, they are enhanced.
The other angle to this problem is how confident we can become as parents, and why this confidence is not transferred to the challenge of returning to work. How can we be so confident and responsible for the lives of little human beings, but crumble when it comes to talking to an adult about a job? Think about it.
I have the benefit of hindsight now. Here are my tips to maintain your self confidence:
- Talk to your manager before you go on leave about returning to work flexibly
- Stay in touch with work - go for lunch with your colleagues, attend team meetings etc.
- Read publications related to your industry - keep up with the terminology
- Ensure lots of adult conversation if you are a full time carer
- Take time to write down your non-paid work and your achievements as a carer for your resume
- Know what you are good at and what you are worth