Feeling overwhelmed at work or at home? Does something need to give? It may be time to consider a new approach. Deciding to take a break from work could be an option but requires soul searching and planning. Consider it this way, stopping work to be a full time caregiver doesn’t have to be a switch that is turned off or on, but it is more a dial that has different levels over time. Meaning, you can turn down your job for now, but that dial can be raised again at any time in the future. And you are not alone, 80% of women who take a career break have intentions to return to work in some capacity in the future.
Below are a few tips to make the process easier.
STEP 1: Have Conversations
Deciding to take time off can be a hard and requires an abundance of planning before taking action. Begin by having open and honest conversations. Every family makes decisions differently and assessing all your options is critical to success. Begin by talking to your spouse or partner, especially if your income is an important part of the family budget. Financial planning and adjustments to your lifestyle may be necessary.
Additionally, assessing your employers policies is a good idea. Paid leave or sabbaticals could be what works for you. But if a true break is needed, the next conversation should be with your boss. Yes, it can be difficult to disclose private details about your life plans with your the company, but this step is necessary to ensure that you end on a good note. It’s also crucial for maintaining that relationship for when you decide to come back or seek a new job.
STEP 2: Make a Plan
More and more women are saying ‘I’m going to be conscientious about taking a short career break, be that two or three years, and I’m going to focus those few years on just being a parent or a caregiver. Then I’m going to be ready to jump back in full time.’
During that time, it is really important to maintain contacts, whether that’s with friends or with coworkers. Set goals for yourself so that it’s easier for you to keep up with them and stay connected. A reasonable goal is to grab lunch or coffee once a quarter. Another suggestion is to not drop off of networking sites like Linked In.
Staying engaged professionally, if it is only minimally, helps you to stay relevant.
The most important piece of advice is to stay connected within your industry. If there’s an opportunity for you to join a webinar on new technology or something emerging in your field, take it. Online classes through a variety of sources are simple to find and easily accessible. Keeping up a license or continued education is also highly recommended.
With more and more women making the big decision to pause their careers in order to spend time with their children, daunting emotions can cloud a mother’s judgement while trying to plan for the next few years.
As stated above, these are only the first steps you need to take in order to smoothly transition out of the workforce. There are many other moving parts that may come to play on an individual level. As a company that focuses on moms who are adamant on returning to work, these are the major factors that we like to ask mothers to focus on. You can learn more here.