The decision to return to work after having children or after being a full time carer is never an easy one.  The decision will be fraught with ‘what ifs’ and ‘can I do its’ but ultimately the decision is yours and once you have made that decision to return to work the first and maybe the most difficult step is done.

Once you have made your decision to return to work, it is worth spending some time thinking about what you have to offer.  If need be sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of skills you have gained through both previous work experience and the general life skills which you’ve developed during your time away from work.  You’ll probably surprise yourself with the list that you come up with.  Show me a parent or a carer who doesn’t have ‘excellent listening and communication skills’ or ‘the ability to multi-task in a fast paced environment’.  We all have a lot to offer irrespective of our circumstances, background or work history. The important thing is to value what we have to offer.

Today’s workplaces are constantly evolving and you may find you have to adapt to these cultural changes or maybe learn new skills. There may be some areas you feel less confident in such as technology.  However, do not be disheartened, there are a large number of training courses available that can help boost your confidence in such areas.

You may be returning to work for a number of reasons.  Whether it’s financial necessity, the need for intellectual stimulus or the desire to start or reignite a career, make sure you apply for jobs which are going to meet your needs. Searching for a job can be a minefield of adverts and opportunities but don’t feel obliged to apply for everything.  You have a lot to offer and the right job and the right employer will see this, but don’t sell yourself short by applying for jobs which do not fulfil your own needs.  Think about what you want out of a job and then apply for those jobs which meet your criteria.

There are a number of important factors you need to think about which will help your transition from home life to the workplace:

  • Look at your finances and work out how much money you ‘need’ to earn.  Remember to factor in the expenses you’ll incur whilst working such as travel expenses, lunches, work clothes and possibly childcare.
  • If you have children give some thought to childcare arrangements.  Who will look after your children whilst you’re at work and how much will this cost?
  • Are you looking for full time or part time work?  Would you prefer a permanent position or a contract role? Would flexible working better suit your needs?
  • If you are a carer do you receive any funding?  If you do, then you need to check whether going back to work would affect your entitlement to the funding.


  1. claire parker says:

    Would like to know if thereare networks to help women returners in Bristolan bath..i am a creative and trained as a teacher and have been doing up houses..and working on a creative project ( also had to look after elderly parents but this has passed nowso able to beginagain abit nmore) but would like to get back into something suitable..and supportive to what i am doing part time maybe or full..

    I would like some support/lifecoach/ and networks to help to navigate this transition…I have alot of ideas and scope but need to find away back into things as swiftlyas possible…and would like to find helpful others can work with towards this goal.

    Thanks hope to hear from you from Claire

  2. josie says:

    My daughter was at work with me until she started walking. Not in HOME either. At my WORK. i would lay a playmat down for her to roll around on. I got her a bit jeep as she got older to cruise around the office in. And also a jumperoo and swing. It figured out fine. I’d say if your at a desk… it would be NO problem having himthere with you. you can surprisingly do alot while feeding… on a computer. And then during naptimes… save your more challenging stuff for then.
    It can compute. but as she started walking it was harder to monitor what all she was getting into… therefore, she now goes to daycare.

  3. Vanessa P. says:

    The most difficult thing I had to deal with when returning to work after having my baby was emotionally coping with having someone else take care of my baby. He was only three months old at the time and I felt that nobody could take care of him like I could. You just have to chose your caretaker well and trust them. Sometimes you must return to work for financial reasons and you have no choice in the matter.

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