Welcome to 21st century motherhood! Every week I talk or speak to women that feel under-valued and under-utilised in their working lives. My theory on it is this: We are educated and professional. We have spent our 20's and some of our 30's building our skills and experience. Parenthood temporarily takes us away from our professional careers at a time when we are ready to ramp up. When we do return to the workforce, we are seeking flexible work arrangements and the roles we are given do not always match with our experience and expertise.
How can we change this? You have to be comfortable with your decisions. If you choice is to take time out of the workforce for a few years, keep up to date with your profession. Make time to do a course/workshop or attend an event every year and read industry journals. It's all about networking and buzz words - really.
If you are returning to the workforce within a year or two or having your child, initiate a discussion with your manager. Question him/her about career advancement and learning opportunities. If you don't, you will probably get bored and leave. Most employers are very concerned about the retention of good staff so play your card.
Working flexibly does not have to mean a career nose dive so monitor your situation every 6 months. Don't be grateful for flexible work arrangements. It is becoming a common offering in organisations around Australia so don't feel like you are asking a huge favour. Just make sure you present a solid business case proposal to demonstrate how it will work. Talk to us if you need some assistance.