Renewing and building professional relationships after a career break
One of the main challenges parents who have been on a career break face is that they move away from their professional roles, as they embark into parenting. Often, this may mean their social circle become more involved around their parenting role and they may lose touch with their professional circle.
When the time comes for them to think about going back to work, I find there is sometimes some apprehension or uncertainty about how disconnected they have been with people from the professional sphere.
Refreshing ‘old’ relationships
To deal with this, I believe it is helpful for parents who decide to go back to work to ensure they build bridges some time before going back to work with their colleagues/boss. Whether a person was on a career break or has resigned from a role, previous colleagues/boss are a very accessible resource that can make the transition back to work more smooth and more positive.
Old colleagues/boss already know our strengths and skills and it therefore makes easier to jump back into a familiar workplace setting. One of my clients told me that she felt more confident after talking to her colleagues and boss before going back to work as they saw her as the expert she was in her area even if she was going back after a two year break.
Building new relationships
My experience of parenting changed a lot of who I am. Therefore, I strongly believe in the importance of new relationships.
Like me, some parents might decide not to go back to their previous career and decide to work for themselves as this allows for more flexibility with having a young family.
I find that being a parent has allowed me to build a strong and completely new circle of people who are now an additional network of people that I know.
And as my business grows, some of my clients have come directly or indirectly from my ‘parenting’ network.
Here are four ways to build new relationships while planning your next career move:
- Use your skills to volunteer in parenting-related activities, if this is available to you. It is a good way of using your skills while getting you to know other people.
- If you are upskilling, link with people who have similar interest as yours and keep in touch with them.
- Go to networking events in your area of expertise or even locally to ensure and keep your eyes and your ears open to opportunities and also to learn about others’ journeys.
- Attend webinars/events in your area of expertise or arrange coffee meetings/virtual coffees with people who have been there and who are where you would like to be.
My clients are people (often parents) who are looking to find out more about themselves and understanding what they want and need as part of their next career move. If this is you, get in touch for a chat via my website www.farzanaconsulting.com