Returning to work is undoubtedly one of the most emotional and difficult periods for many of us, not only for the obvious reasons such as leaving our child for the first time but also for the less visual changes that have happened such as our values and drivers that adjust as our family unit develops.

If, like me, you will have spent a lot of time researching and reviewing childcare options as priority but never really considered what your “old” job would look or feel like for you. If you feel you need to regain balance at work I share with you some tips on how to evaluate your success factors and to fall back in love with work.

1. Be Positive

Ever had that Sunday night feeling? Take some time to reflect on the elements of your work that you really enjoy – make a note of the things that drive you, your skills and what you look forward to in your current role

2. Purpose & Values 

These can, and will, shift over time and what may have been important to you in the workplace before becoming a parent may now have significantly changed.  What can you do to shape your role to fit your current purpose and values? Some suggestions may be flexible hours, independence at work, remote working

3. Personal Development 

Do you need a stretch? Working on new goals, or projects not only gives you a sense of accomplishment but the actions to reach that goal can sometimes be more meaningful to us.  New skills that you learn in your workplace can also make you more valuable to your current employer as well as more attractive to potential employers

4. Networking

Am I feeling supported at work? This is as important as your network at home and building strong connections in the workplace is key to securing this. Get to know the people around you both internally and externally.  Be curious and engage with others.  Start a conversation with a colleague and begin to build your network

5. If It’s Broken Fix It 

Is this role the right fit for me still? Don’t feel defensive or negative about your role as this can overflow into homelife.  Evaluate where you could use your skills in other departments or on other projects.  Make your presence known and how you would like your career to develop and this will help you build a case to improve the balance at work

Many factors will feed into what makes you really happy at work – Financial stability, job satisfaction, career progression, flexible working conditions?  Getting the right work life balance can be crucial to our happiness at work and at home.

There are many transition points in life and we often ignore how these affect us, believing that we should be able to navigate these changes with ease.  Giving yourself the time to reflect on options open to you and to evaluate what is important right now will give you the clarity you need to move on, in a fulfilled way.

This article was written by Maryan Hook, one of Careering into Motherhood’s Partner Coaches. Maryan helps parents navigate their return to work and reshape their routine. If you want to learn more about how coaching can help you follow this link Discovery Call with Maryan Hook.