Getting back in to the job market after having children and/or moving country can be a daunting prospect. I know this feeling only too well. When you have been out of the job market for a while, you can quickly become deskilled and lose confidence. On a daily basis, I support women who no longer feel confident in anything anymore, don’t feel they have any relevant skills or anything to offer, and don’t have any idea of what they could do for a living. Whilst I completely understand how you can reach this point, it also surprises me when I meet so many of you incredible women with so many skills, talents, experience and potential! Many of you have already had successful careers, have relocated to a new country (often more than once); you are raising families, learning a new language, adapting to a new culture and a new way of life. You are AMAZING! All of this takes skill and courage and confidence. And so many of these skills are transferable.
I was recently watching an interview with Brendon Burchard (author of High Performance Habits), and a question he asked really jumped out to me. When you find yourself saying, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I would be any good at that,’ or ‘I don’t know enough about XYZ,’ you should instead be thinking about something you are already good at. Ask yourself: have you always been good at that? How many things in your life are you now good at that you had to learn how to be good at? When you had your first baby, did you know everything? What about a hobby? Or exercise? Did you suddenly one day get off the couch and run 10K? Of course you didn’t. You studied and trained and practiced until you became good at it. In life we are constantly learning and mastering things and we should think about work the same way.
Reframe Your Negative Thinking
So you are thinking of getting back in to the job market after a career break. First of all, let’s reframe any negative thoughts you may have. Yes, it’s scary, but it is also a wonderful opportunity. So often in life we stay in a job, in the rat race, because we have a mortgage, bills, responsibilities. But right now you have the time to stop and to really think about what you want to do. That’s an exciting position to be in. Embrace this period in your life and the chance to choose something you would love to do. (If your negative thinking is holding you back, you can download my free worksheet on how to end your negative thinking at http://julieleonardcoaching.com/ )
Create Your Dream Job
For some of you, being employed by a company with regular hours and a steady income may be what you want. But for many moms, being self employed can be a very attractive option. Today it is totally possible to create your dream job. Most people, myself included, have a career based on something we are passionate about. It is entirely feasible to design a job for yourself based on what you love and what you are passionate about. Technology has altered how careers should look. We are no longer bound by traditional vocations such as law, medicine, teaching, etc; instead, we can now be bloggers and vloggers and web designers and digital nomads. The possibilities are endless. When I came to Munich I wanted to become self employed and I took my passions and experience (Psychology, 25 years of experience, supporting women to transform their lives, aromatherapy, and decluttering) to create my dream job. And now I support women doing the same, taking all their ideas and passions (or helping them to discover them if they don’t know what they are) and enabling women to become entrepreneurs.
Get Some Work Life Balance
Being a Mompreneur means that you can address some of the fears you have about returning to work. Many women stress about climbing the career ladder after having kids (and often struggle to do so); some worry about spending time away from their kids or feel guilty for being away from them, or stress about getting time off when their kids are sick. In my experience, being self employed has certain stresses, but these stresses are far outweighed by a great work-life balance. I have flexible working hours, can choose the hours that suit me and my family; I have lots of quality time with my son; I do something that I love; and I make a difference to others, too. I can be with my son if he is sick. I can take holidays when he has them. And I can get the laundry done whilst I’m answering emails!
Let Go of the Guilt
As women and mothers we hold on to so much guilt. Guilt for wanting a career as well as kids. Guilt for leaving our children to go to work. Guilt that we might not always be there for them when they need us. Guilt that we are not superwoman 365 days of the year. Going to work or running your own business isn’t just a way to earn money. It isn’t selfish. You are, in fact, being an incredible role model for your kids. What better way to teach your children about responsibility, confidence, passion, work ethic, success and achieving your dreams and happiness than to show them. It isn’t enough to just tell them. And in the meantime you are following your dreams, too.