Saturday, November 21, 2009

Top 5 tips on advancing your career as a parent

Progressing your career tends to naturally happen for most people in their mid to late thirties. For most women, this is around the time that we are having children so the challenge is far greater.

Take a deep breath. You can still achieve your career goals. it is about adopting a different mindset. You are raising the future of Australia (yes, think about it like that!). Think about where you are at right now in practical terms. The workforce is changing. 4 in 10 workers in Australia have caring duties so you are not alone. Use your resilience that comes from parenthood and get creative.

Here are my top 5 tips for advancing your career post children:

1. Be aware of your career aspirations. Have a 5 year plan.

2. Know that working flexibly does not mean working part time. Be creative when you write your business case proposal. Offer your manager a trial period.

3. Know your flexibility requirements. How does this fit with your current role? And know that your requirements will change throughout parenthood.

4. Do a health check on your career. Have you progressed, plateaued or regressed? Ask the hard questions to your manager/HR: Will working flexibly affect my career path? What opportunities are available to me moving forward? How will my performance be measured? Organise a meeting every 6-12 months with your manager on career progression. Make it happen – don’t wait for it.

5. Think outside the square. Experience and children create resilience and creativity in a person. Can you create a new niche role at your organisation? Can you return as a consultant?

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