A 3 minute read on how career break return can affect the mindset of returners and how coaching helps not only with navigating the return to work, but with career progression and confidence afterwards, with supporting testimonials showing how coaching has helped various individuals.
Going back to work after maternity leave is, understandably, a big shift. I remember it well, returning to the Bar as I did full time after my first 2 children. The first was after 6 months maternity leave and my daughter pre-dominantly went into nursery care. The second was after a year of maternity leave with my son, after which both children were then cared for by a nanny and occasionally grandparents. By the time it came to my third child, I did things differently again, and enjoyed an extended career break which became the pre-cursor to me transitioning out of law and into coaching.
Whatever the given scenario, (even in my own family you can see that each break was managed very differently), such change inevitably brings with it feelings of uncertainty and wavering self-confidence. Day to day work, that was once second nature to the returner, can become more challenging. Returners may feel rusty with both legal knowledge and the introduction of new technology or enhanced case/ diary management systems. Perhaps with a change in personnel/ team members, returners further feel at sea, compounded by the fact that their return to work can often signal the first use of “external” childcare.
Yet these themes are much more common than people think.
As a specialist career break returner coach, it’s interesting to observe how many women returning to work after maternity leave do feel alone, isolated even, in their experiences. The same goes for career returners who have come back after caring for elderly relatives or even those who have enjoyed an extended sabbatical, perhaps involving time out to travel.
However, the commonality of themes developing in coaching sessions between different clients can offer helpful reassurance, where otherwise it is lacking.
Whether it’s a reduced sense of confidence, uncertainty around how the work life “juggle” will play out with the additional challenge of childcare thrown into the mix, or how to successfully progress the career ladder after extended time away, career break returner coaching is a sure-fire way to successfully:
- progress career ambitions;
- improve self-confidence;
- create healthy boundaries;
- learn time ownership hacks for increased productivity;
- adjust to new roles and responsibilities both at work and at home; and
- regain a clear sense of purpose and direction at work.
Evidence points to coaching having a useful part to play in preparing for a return or transitioning back into the workplace. Even a short course of coaching can do wonders to instil a more positive mindset and reassure returners that they aren’t alone, bridging the gap between preparing for, and successfully navigating, a return.
You can find inspiration by hearing from others who have returned successfully from a career break here, and adopt for yourself, through career return coaching, these 3 easy wins to smoothly navigate your own return:
- Improve your Confidence to Return
I wasn’t properly prepared for…how the [career] break could throw me off-course in terms of what I wanted career-wise, both short and long term. There was a definite feeling of being all at sea and under-confident in my abilities when I returned to work after a year out. I wish I had access then to Nikki’s Career Break Return course which acknowledges these challenges and includes a number of practical exercises that can be done while on maternity leave, as well as some valuable tips, recommendations and personal insights, to make the transition back to work easier. I am glad that I stayed in the game after having my daughter and, with Nikki’s guidance, I am working from a much more informed and confident starting point as I look forward to taking maternity leave for a second time round: Amy, Senior Lawyer
- Successfully continue your Career Progression
Nikki…gently but very effectively guided my thinking process so as to help me distill it down to what really mattered and what I wanted to achieve and why, both in the short, medium and long term. Her support was very practical and useful, for example helping me set some clear, achievable action points at the end of each session: Ann, Banking & Finance Lawyer, Career Break Returner
- Create the work life balance of your choosing, through time ownership, healthy boundaries and learning to say no
I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Nikki- a much needed confidence boost following my return to work after maternity leave number 2…Through her coaching sessions and book recommendations, Nikki has helped me unlock the tools I already had to be my own… coach, be my own mentor, and strive for the career progression and work life balance that’s right for me: Natalie, Solicitor
Whether it’s one to one coaching or even a one off Career Break Returner webinar, there are many ways in which to enjoy a confident, meaningful return, and onward career progression, at a time that’s right for you.
For more information about one to one career break return coaching for individuals, please contact Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07956 612190 or read Raising the Bar: Empowering Female Lawyers through Coaching https://amzn.to/309vfz6.
Nikki Alderson Biography
Nikki Alderson, specialist coach, speaker and author, and former Criminal Barrister with 19 years’ experience:
- supports organisations, law firms and barristers’ Chambers to retain female talent; and
- empowers female lawyers to achieve career ambitions.
Nikki specialises in 3 areas:
- Women leadership transition and change;
- Enhanced career break returner support; and
- Workplace resilience, mental toughness, confidence and wellness.
She is the author of Amazon No.1 Bestseller Raising the Bar: empowering female lawyers through coaching, (https://amzn.to/3fodKQX) nominee for the Inspirational Women Awards, Champion of the Year Category and finalist in the 2020 Women in Law Awards, Legal Services Innovator of the Year and 2019 International Coaching Awards, International Coach of the Year Category.