One of the most daunting things about becoming a mother is not the parenthood journey itself, but what will happen to the life you knew before your baby arrived. For many women, this involves a very real fear that they will no longer be an attractive candidate for employers, whether they spend a few months or a few years out of the workforce.
Although we gladly put our lives on hold to make way for our little ones, it can be scary to think about returning to work, especially if you have no job to return to. Thankfully, there is plenty of hope out there, including some new local initiatives, all designed to make it easier for mums to get back into the workforce.
What Are the Current Trends for Mums at Work?
If you want an idea of what mothers in Australia and around the world are doing, it’s best to take a look at the numbers. In our country alone, part-time work seems to be the most common choice for mums, with a reported 36% working fewer hours than the full-time mums who made up just 25% of those surveyed.
In America, the Pew Research Center found that 46% of two-parent households had both parents working full time, which was a stark contrast to their 1970 results which found the most common arrangement was a full time working father and unemployed mother. Whichever way you look at it, it’s evident that the trend is leading towards more mothers returning to work or juggling the role of both stay-at-home mum and career woman.
What Jobs Are Best For Millennial Mums?
Many mums in Australia put the brakes on their career when they became mothers, with some stepping out of the workforce for a few months and others a few years. Whichever category you fall into, you’ll find that making your next career move in one of these roles may be more beneficial due to their high growth potential, flexible working arrangements, and the number of job openings.
- Office manager;
- Account executive;
- Business development;
- Physical therapy assistant;
- Client services coordinator
A common choice for mums wanting to get back into the workforce is starting their own business and working on a freelance or contract basis. This gives you all of the flexibility you need in regards to hours and changing schedules, and effectively allows you to be your own boss. However it does take more work than you might think.
How You Can Get Help Launching Your Career
Although it might sound easy enough to step back into the career world once you’ve had some time off being a mum, it can come with many obstacles and challenges. Experts state that for women returning to work, the first 12 months is the most crucial, and if they don’t receive the support they need, they usually quit the job and find it hard to want to return to work again.
Thankfully, there’s a new Australian initiative that is turning this problem on its head and offering women a supportive way to find careers that suit their skills, experience, goals, and lifestyle, called FlexCareers. The women-first job site works with ladies looking to return to work or start in a new field, partnering with companies which have flexible working arrangements that might attract female workers.
FlexCareers also benefits the businesses involved too, as they help to establish return-to-work internships that can be mutually beneficial for both employer and employee, giving mums the perfect stepping stone to returning to the workforce. With more and more initiatives like this being launched in the country, we’ll be well on our way towards helping mums to make a smooth transition from mum life to office life.
Finding the Ideal Work/Life Balance
The goal for most people, mothers or not, is to get the perfect mix of work and life so that you don’t feel as if you’re pulled in all directions. Finding that balance can be hard for mums, with most of us feeling that we can either excel at one or the other, but never both, which is why initiatives like this are such a positive step.
The days of limited options are over, and with more and more women wanting to return to the workforce after having children, there’s sure to be even more options available in the future.
If you’re looking for information on how to try and do it all as a mum and a career woman, why not explore the rest of our Peachymama posts for tips, advice, and inspiration.