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Point of no return. How to stay professional on maternity leave

Maternity leave is a great time for self-determination, self-development and professional development

Recruiters estimate a break in their careers for more than a year as a "point of no return"   - # nbsp; a line after which it is already very difficult to get a job without losing status and income, and generally return to the profession. Therefore, applicants go to # nbsp; new # nbsp; work, sometimes agreeing to an imperfect option for themselves, just so as not to cross this "Rubicon".
A long break in a career for women, as a rule, most often happens due to maternity leave. # Nbsp; What to do? What can a woman do so as not to lose the opportunity to build a career after spending several years at home with a child?

The expression "sit on maternity leave", so popular in our society, in my opinion, is fundamentally wrong. Of course, a woman doesn’t “sit” anyway, but runs the household, is actively involved in the upbringing and development of the child. But the time of the decree is also a great time for self-determination, self-development and professional development. And I, a mother of three children, do not fantasize and do not idealize. Even the busiest housewife with a baby in her arms can find time for herself.

There are different circumstances for withdrawing from the decree.
A woman knows for sure that she wants to return to her previous job, they are waiting for her there and “keep” the rate. skills and knowledge. For example, an accountant can monitor changes in accounting and taxation principles. It is important for a lawyer to keep track of new laws and regulations. An IT specialist, graphic designer, marketer - to fix trends in their professional fields, because technologies are developing very quickly, and # nbsp; in three years on maternity leave you can very much # nbsp; lag behind colleagues. Educational # nbsp; online resources, including free content, to help. In addition to professional competencies # nbsp; you can "pump" emotional intelligence, a foreign language, public speaking skills. You can pay attention to courses on leadership and management. Having returned to the "system" after the decree, a woman who has devoted time and attention to her development will feel confident and will quickly be able to apply for leading positions in work.

A woman does not plan to return to her previous job after the decree, but wants to stay in the profession. engage in self-development and professional development.

Become more visible # nbsp; in the labor market. For example, write and # nbsp; comment # nbsp; on social networks and on specialized resources articles on professional topics. A new normative document comes out - # nbsp; the lawyer explains it, expresses his opinion. Each area has specialized conferences, publications, blogs - and topics for discussion. The main thing is that the comments are thoughtful and purely professional. They can be noticed by recruiters or direct employers. Sometimes such professional publications will say more about the applicant than his resume. You should not close your resume on work sites for the duration of the decree. And # nbsp; even # nbsp; if a woman is not going to go to work anytime soon, it is important not to refuse invitations to interviews. This will allow you to keep abreast of # nbsp; current situation # nbsp; in the labor market, navigate new trends in your industry and profession, maintain communication skills.
Some vacancies are not urgent, the employer starts looking for candidates very well in advance, and, perhaps, having started to pass # nbsp; interviews # nbsp; back in decree, a woman will receive a job offer by the end of it.

The woman categorically does not want to return to her former profession. There are situations when a woman literally ran away on maternity leave from an unloved job. And then the decree is a way of emotional reset and it's time to think about what to do next. The woman got rid of the depressing routine # nbsp; and got the opportunity to pause, exhale, understand herself and understand what she wants instead, what my soul is in. # Nbsp; Perhaps # nbsp; even pass career guidance tests and retrain for a new profession ... It's not too late to do # nbsp; after 30-35 years.
To me # nbsp; as a recruiter # nbsp; it is obvious that the largest number of radical changes in the field of activity occurs just after # nbsp; decree. For example, before pregnancy, a woman worked as an analyst in a bank, and during the maternity leave she re-profiled and went into interior design. Or she worked as a marketer in a tobacco company before pregnancy, and during the decree became interested in the study and development of personality, the nature of human relations and conflicts, decided to get a higher psychological education, and never returned to marketing.
But many women # nbsp; are stopped by the fear of not finding themselves in a new business: someone started building a career at the age of 20, and here is an "over-the-top" newcomer! #Nbsp; I recommend even agreeing to a free internship if a woman tries to take the first steps in a new profession. For her, this is an opportunity to gain the necessary practical experience. Here's an example: A female marketer started her # nbsp; career in psychology as an unpaid trainee in a training company and assistant to a renowned psychologist, accompanying and administering his online courses. She later received a paid position as a psychologist's assistant at a children's rehabilitation center. And then she launched # nbsp; her own private psychological practice.

Victoria Filippova, Partner PROTALENT LAB, PCC ICF coach
Source: https: //www.forbes.ru/forbes-woman/367841-tochka-nevozvrata-kak-ostatsya-professionalom-v-dekretnom-otpuske