It is an excellent idea to adopt career management best practices when you make the decision to stay home with your family. In other words, you must take a proactive approach to your “sabbatical” from the work force in order to alleviate some of the financial, emotional and internal conflicts you may experience when attempting to return to work. I often suggest to clients that they look at their time at home from a career management perspective and follow these best practices:
1. Treat the time at home as a “sabbatical” and label it as such when discussing it with management and the Human Resources professionals at your organization;
2. Keep in touch with the people at the company where you worked –keep track of where they are and what they are doing—especially those key people that may assist you when you return;
3. Stay connected on the social networking sites and update your profiles with volunteer work and other achievements;
4. Conduct ongoing research and update your knowledge of your industry—read articles, explore websites, follow key trends and really attempt to understand what is happening and changing;
5. Put some money aside every month for a “back-to-work” slush fund and then when you are ready to return to work you can afford to pay for expenses such as a career coach to assist you in your transition, updating your wardrobe, childcare and other expenses;
6. Get involved in volunteer work –it may assist you in refreshing or maintaining those key skills that you will need when you return to work;
7. Meet with people face-to-face every now and “stay in the game”;
8. Find a mentor–someone who is working in your profession;
9. Enjoy your time with your family—value and embrace the choice you have made.
As women, we often ignore the pro-active approach to career/life planning and we forget that if we take the time to develop a career management plan when stepping out of the workforce to raise our children, then our transition back will be accompanied by excitement, enthusiasm and confidence.
If you require assistance with your transition from home to work –feel free to contact me.