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Finding the Confidence to Return to Work After Raising Children

Posted on 28/01/2019 by Mai Pearson

I clearly remember making the conscious decision, and never regretting it, to look after my children full-time whilst they were little, and do my best to bring these two little creatures up to be decent human beings.  It is probably the most mentally and physically demanding, yet unpaid, job in the world!

If you are anything like me, you will probably have answered the tricky question about your profession quite often with “Oh, I am just a mum”.  The word ‘just’ so derogatorily used, almost as an excuse for not having had a highly paid career in the corporate world.  Looking back I can’t believe I so devalued my role as to say ‘just’.

Having spent five years’ of my life fully committed to being ‘just’ a mum, I decided that it was time to re-start my career.     

I have always felt drawn to becoming a recruiter, but the timing was never right.  Now it was more of a question of whether it was maybe too late!  Where to even start?

With a big gap on my CV and a serious lack of self-confidence, I aimlessly browsed endless job ads trying to find the right opportunity.  I wanted to find something that I was not only truly passionate about, but also good enough for, not only in my own eyes, but most importantly in those of any potential employer. 

Having spent my 20’s socializing, networking and enjoying meeting new people on a daily basis and never once hesitating to start a conversation with a complete stranger, I found myself wondering what happened to all this confidence and inspiration.  I took a good look at myself and knew it was now or never.  I overcame all my fears and hesitation and I wrote an e-mail!  Not an email responding to a job ad, but a direct email to the Managing Director, now my boss, asking for a chance to prove myself.  Looking back, I must have had my finger hovering over the send button for several minutes before bringing up the courage to press send.

I think no matter what your passion or dream is, it’s never too late to try and most importantly, it’s definitely ok to accept help.  Something I really cherish is the amazing support I’ve received to help look after my kids whilst focusing on re-building my career.  I was also extremely lucky to have met a boss who truly believes in people’s uniqueness and skills that may not always be visible on a CV and who truly believes, that being a mum and raising children can give you more life experience than you could possibly get from any office job. 

Now, two years later, I couldn’t feel more proud having taken this step resulting in me being a more confident role model to both of my children, now 5 and 10.  Not once have I dreaded going back to work on a Monday morning, actually looking forward to an extremely busy, but equally satisfying week of riding the rollercoaster of recruitment.  

Looking back at the last decade, I have never regretted raising my children for their first few precious years.  In fact it is what has made me who I am today and gave me both the courage and confidence to step back into work and fulfil my potential.

Don’t get me wrong; it has not always been easy, juggling being a mum whilst being fully committed to a demanding job, but in the end it is always worth it.  The evenings and weekends with my kids are now even more special and precious than ever before.