Return to work with confidence

Return to work with confidence

Boost yourself up to head back to your job or start a new career after becoming a mum

Whether you want to return to your pre-maternity leave role or try something completely new, your self-belief can have taken a bit of a bashing if you’ve taken time away from work to have your family. Try these tips to prepare yourself and get your confidence back again.

Know what you want

First of all, what do you want to aim for? Being organised and mapping out your career plan will make you feel a lot better about taking that big step. Ask yourself a few basic questions to make sure you’re heading for the goal that will be right for you, by looking at our tips on making the move to a new job.

Moving forward

After maternity leave you might be going back to an existing job or to a similar position elsewhere. Check out returning to work: first steps for a useful overview of what to do next. If you’re considering working for yourself, take a look at our advice on How to start your own business. Knowledge is power!

Accentuate your positives

If you’re going to apply for jobs it’s important to refresh your CV. This is a good opportunity for you to also reassess what skills you have that would suit particular jobs, and where there might be gaps worth filling with new experience (see below). On the excellent National Careers Service website there is a CV builder function and there are tips on what employers are looking for. It also has a handy list of do’s and don’ts so you paint the best possible picture of yourself.


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Mind the skills gap

Don’t be put off if you think your experience is out of date or not fully developed. There are easy ways to improve your talents and get out into the working world again. Consider volunteer work either locally at a business or organisation to revive your existing skills – approach them personally and explain what you’re hoping to gain from it. Or start with the Do-It website which has brilliant information about volunteering in all kinds of fields all over the UK.

Have a home-life plan

Talk to your other half about what you’re going to do so you know you can rely on his support. Talking it through will help you assess any feelings you might have about changing your role as a mum, too, and help you work through feelings of guilt or concern.
If you’re worried about maintaining the work-life balance you want, find tips ON managing your work time. Then decide what kind of childcare will suit you, based on how old your children are (from one-on-one babycare to after school clubs for older children) and then do your sums to make sure any new income balances with care costs. Find the latest information on government help with childcare costs at

Feel good about your move

Once you feel you’ve done the groundwork, boost your confidence with a few personal prep tactics. Try these for starters, and find more at New you: be confident and achieve your goals.
•Trust a friend. You might not want to bend everyone’s ear about your hopes, concerns and progress so ask someone you know if they’ll be your confidant and just go for a coffee once a week to keep your focus and give you a personal push.
•Feel good about yourself. Get a haircut, find a new style that suits you and do regular exercise to give yourself a lift. If you like what you see in the mirror, others will too.
•Look forward. Think about where you’re likely to be in a year’s time, and further ahead. Your child won’t be a kid forever, so celebrate your own adventure, growing in a new job, alongside their life journey.

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