If you’re a woman with a burgeoning career and you’re about to have a baby, you are probably wondering whether you’ll be able to maintain your professional network whilst you are away caring for your little one. It can be a frustrating feeling if you’ve spent years climbing the corporate ladder, or have worked hard at growing your career prospects and professional network.
So, is there anything useful you can do to sustain and maintain, and possibly even grow, this professional network while on your maternity leave?
Growing Your Network While You Are Absent
It might seem like a pipe dream, but there are some really practical things you can do to maintain your professional network. Here are some options to consider:
- Don’t feel like you need to be quiet whilst on maternity leave. There’s nothing stopping you from engaging with your colleagues via social media, through email, on the phone, or just stopping by to bring your baby in for a quick visit. You might even set up a social meeting outside of work with your boss or someone in a management position for a quick coffee and chat. These small things can keep you in the loop and maintain your network.
- Once you engage and connect, put forward some new ideas. It could be something as simple as improving the way the office works to make things more efficient, or a new idea related to marketing or your own niche. The important thing is that you’re using your brain whilst on leave and contributing potentially important ideas to the running of the business or company. Doing this also demonstrates just how committed you are to your colleagues and the company.
- If you’re on maternity leave, there might be an option for you to do some work from home. It won’t be full time, but setting up at home so you can answer some emails, get some light paperwork done or some other basic tasks will remind your colleagues that you’re committed and that your skills are important to the running of the workplace.
Your Professional Network Can Grow While You Look After Your Baby
Maintaining a network while you are on maternity leave may seem difficult, but the key is communication. If you communicate regularly with your colleagues and plan ahead, you can hit the ground running once you return.