If you’re someone who has taken a break from work to be home with your kids, then you’re likely to experience a whole range of emotions once they head off to
school. It’s exciting to watch them move onto the next chapter of their lives but if the truth be told, it can also be a bit sad and overwhelming for parents left behind at the school gate.
Now that your child has started out on a whole new journey, it’s time to start thinking about your own next steps. At CoAct, we understand that this can be a daunting time, so we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate life after a career break now the kids are at school.
6 tips to help get you work ready
Going back to work once your kids start school is no mean feat and with children now in the mix, there is plenty to consider before you can commit to a new job.
1. Think about the type of work that suits you best
You need to decide if you want to return to the work you did before you had children, or if you’re keen to try something new. Think about the type of job that is going to best suit you and your circumstances now that you’re raising a family. There are all sorts of different working patterns that you might like to explore including job share, part-time or contract work, compressing your work hours e.g. five days into four, work from home arrangements and more.
2. Take steps to find the ‘working’ you
It’s not uncommon for someone to lose a bit of confidence when they’ve been out of the workplace for a while, so don’t feel you have to go it alone. There is plenty of support out there for mums and carers going back to work after having kids. From help updating your resume and learning how to look for jobs in your area, to opportunities to gain job interview practice or support to feel more confident – be sure to reach out to organisations (such as CoAct) who specialise in helping people return to work.
3. Look at the skills you need (and the new ones you have)
You might feel that your skills are a bit rusty after a career break so think about the areas you may need to improve, such as becoming more tech savvy. Support is available through training courses and learning on the job to help you get up to speed. Of course, it’s just as important to think about all the new things you have to offer as being a parent has seen you build up a whole range of transferable skills that employers will value. Check out our blog post – How the skills you learn as a parent can be good for your resume.
4. Consider flexible work arrangements
Let’s face it – school hours are not always going to be compatible with your work hours, so think about how you’re going to manage the kids during the time they’re not at school, such as when they’re sick or on school holidays. When looking for work, don’t be afraid to approach the subject of flexible work arrangements with a potential employer. A job that lets you start later or finish earlier to manage drops offs and pickups, gives you the flexibility to attend an assembly, a sports
carnival or help out with reading groups might just help soften the blow as you head back to work.
5. Plan who will look after the kids
If you’ve got a family member who is able to help out with the kids when you’re at work, then it’s a good idea to start the conversation with them now so that you know that you’re free to start looking for a job. If you need to book your child into before or after school care, speak to them now to be sure they will have an available spot for your child when school starts.
6. Find out about government subsidies
If you plan to use before and after school care for your children, then you may be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy (CCS). There is also a range of other school subsidies on offer so it’s worth having a chat with Centrelink and checking out the government subsidies you may be eligible for in your state.
New South Wales
- Active Kids Voucher
- School Drive Subsidy
- Living Away From Home Allowance
- Boarding Scholarship for Isolated Students
- Get Started Vouchers program
- Living Away from Home Allowance Scheme
- Queensland Academies Isolated Students Bursary
Australian Capital Territory
CoAct can help you get you on the right track with the advice and support you need to find and keep a job that fits in with your routine. To find out more, get in touch with our friendly team today.