How do you 'relaunch' your career if you gave it up to raise children?

(8 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Sep-08 15:59:51

The Guardian reports on the challenges facing women who've been on an extended career break. Has anyone gone back after a lengthy break, and what helped/would have helped? Please share your experiences so this aspect of work and parenting can be reflected in the Home Front debate. Thanks

Sunshinetoast Mon 01-Sep-08 18:37:41

Calling a book about returning to work after caring for a family 'The ten year nap' seems like a bit of an own goal!

morethanjustadad Mon 08-Sep-08 11:56:14

Interesting article and thread. I'd be interested in reading some of these contributions and I'd be interested to hear from SAHDs who have done this too. I'm a SAHD and I'm beginning to look at returning to work - I had a "serious career" before taking a break a few years back and interestingly enough now, I find some employers look at me very curiously when they learn that I took time out for the kids. It is something that is "expected/acceptable" for Mums, but the reactions I've been getting suggest that for SAHDs you are regarded as something of a weirdo.

Last year I was even the "victim" of "who'll look after the kids prejudice" which a potential employer admitted to me in an interview - he also admitted he would never have said so to a woman, but expected me to be "ok" wih the idea.

I could have.... but what's the point,if someone has such primordial views - you wouldn't want to work with them, would you?

Sunshinetoast Thu 11-Sep-08 10:11:45

It is an interesting topic. One of the main reasons I carried on working (although part-time) after my daughter was born, rather than taking a break, was because I was worried about what it would be like getting back into work.

One thing that's going to cause a problem is the changes to funding of adult education, which I think will mean you don't get funded to do a qualification at a level you already have. this will really hit SAHMs and SAHDs who want to re-train.

Another thing that would make a difference would be for more jobs to be available part-time. If you go back after maternity leave you can request flexible working, but if you are starting a new job you have to work for six months before you can make a request. Puts a lot of people off.

nooname Thu 11-Sep-08 10:24:29

On the flexible working point - not only are you supposed to wait six months before asking but the employer then has a certain time-period in which to look at and agree/not agree the request so the actual time working "unflexibly" is actually longer than 6 months.

It would help some if requests could be put in before the 6 months are up so that the flexible working could start as soon as the 6 months arrives.

Lizzylou Thu 11-Sep-08 10:33:44

I am just in the process of going back to work after 4 years.
I was in Legal Recruitment in Manchester, long hours hefty commute. I was approached by an old contact of mine to set up in business with him and we should be all systems go in mid-October. I will be working Mon-Thursday 9-3pm, predominantly from home.
For me, becoming selfemployed meant flexibility and lack of "wasted" hours commuting coupled with the fact that I can do school drop off/pick ups.
That said I do seem to be juggling things badly at the moment (before my childcare starts) and just organised some advertising mid-nappy change, thank goodness it was all via telephone grin

Sunshinetoast Thu 11-Sep-08 14:30:13

The beauty of working from home is that no one can tell if you are changing nappies while you work. I also find that this is the downside - because I can hang out a load of washing/run the hoover round/take a supermarket delivery during the working day I often end up doing it.

And because it is often easier for me to take a day off if my daughter is sick it is harder to insist that DH takes a turn now and again.

It's getting off MN the impetus (kick up backside) to 'relaunch' my career (as opposed to just drifting in the job I was doing pre-DC) which is a problem for me...

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