Becoming a mom is one of a woman's most rewarding experiences. But taking time off work for maternity leave can be a difficult adjustment period to go through when it comes to getting back into the professional world. It's hard enough to return to work while balancing motherhood, but how do you rebuild your professional image after pregnancy? Here are some tips that will help you easily transition back into the workplace.
1. Stay Connected with Colleagues
Feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from your colleagues while on maternity leave is easy, but staying connected is essential to remain in the loop and maintain relationships. You can do this in various ways, including:
a. Sending occasional emails
When you send emails, provide updates on your maternity leave and a timeline for when you plan to return. This way, you'll be able to stay engaged and contribute when you come back. Ask your colleagues for advice and ask what you can do to catch up quickly.
b. Participating in networking events
Networking is a great way to stay connected. Attend networking events and conferences related to your field while on leave or when you come back to work. This will help you stay in touch with current trends and remain visible to your peers.
c. Connecting on social media
Of course, staying connected on social media is a must. Make sure to follow relevant industry sites and join conversations with like-minded professionals. You can also link up with your colleagues and stay in the know about what is going on within your professional network.
d. Reconnecting with mentors
If you have any professional mentors, now is the perfect time to reconnect with them. Mentors can provide invaluable advice and help you adjust quickly to the changes in the workplace. They can also help you remain up-to-date on industry trends and boost your reputation.
2. Dress the Part
Because you'll probably be wearing new, more comfortable clothes while on maternity leave, you need to start dressing the part once you return to work. Many offices have a dress code, so make sure to follow it and look professional. Invest in some new business attire that fits well and is comfortable for you.
Make sure you also fit into your clothes if you've gained or lost weight during your pregnancy. Having a baby changes your body, so dress for the shape you're in and not the one you used to be. Many women can lose excess weight through exercise, but you can opt for non-surgical tummy fat removal if it is too stubborn. This non-invasive procedure can help you get your pre-pregnancy body back. If you lost weight during pregnancy, invest in clothes that make you feel confident and are right for the position you hold.
3. Be Flexible
As a working mother, it might seem like you will never achieve a work-life balance-but it is possible! Try negotiating flexible hours with your employer or look into telecommuting part-time as these options will give you more time with your family and allow for better time management overall. Additionally, being open about your needs may encourage other moms in the workplace who have been too scared or uncertain to speak up about their own need for flexibility.
Some employers may not be open to flexible hours and telecommuting, but that doesn't mean you can't prove your worth. If there are tasks you can do from home, like writing reports, researching or developing presentations, show your employer that this won't interfere with your productivity. You can also look into job-sharing with another employee and take advantage of any additional benefits your company might offer, such as parental leave or childcare.
4. Update Your Resume
When returning from maternity leave, take the opportunity to update your resume with any new skills or certifications that you acquired while on leave. Showcasing these new skills makes you appear more attractive as an employee and reminds you of all you have accomplished during this time off. Taking proactive steps like this will boost morale and confidence when stepping back into the professional world after maternity leave.
Rebuilding your professional image after pregnancy doesn't have to be daunting if approached correctly. By staying connected with colleagues, dressing the part, being flexible, and updating your resume, you can easily transition back into the workplace. Finally, remember to take care of yourself so you can be the best version of yourself and provide your family with the support they need.