While we may often hear that society devalues the role of ‘stay at home mums’, sometimes Mums themselves devalue their time away from their professional careers. It is easy for women or men that stay at home to care for children to see this as time spent out of the professional spotlight and not a time where new skills are being developed and mastered that can serve well in the corporate environment as well as at home.
It’s far too common to tie our identity and our value to our children, we meet their everyday wants and needs. We want them to be successful and that satisfies us, they make the wrong decisions, we blame ourselves. Our self-esteem as a result can often go up and down. So how do we maintain a healthy self-esteem and maintain self-worth and just how important is this?
Instead of thinking about the time spent out of the workplace, it is critical to redirect your focus to building self-confidence and to understand your own self-worth and the skill set you bring to the table. This can be challenging for some women, particularly if they have been out of the workplace for an extended period of time.
Below are some of the most common issues that women will face thinking about returning to work and in the weeks leading up to going back into the fray of the working world. By recognising how your own behaviours and thoughts may be lowering your self-worth, it is easy to correct these negative choices and begin to see yourself as the valuable asset you will be to your next employer.
Stop the Negative Self-Talk
How many times have you read a job description or heard of a position and then immediately talked yourself out of even considering it as a possible career? Do you look for the areas in the posting where you don’t meet the requirements and focus on those rather than the ones that you are well suited for?
Negative self-talk is more of an issue for some people than others. If you are always a “the glass is half empty” type of person, it will be essential to avoid the temptation to fall into old patterns of telling yourself you can’t measure up to the job.
Negativity is demotivating. It drains your enthusiasm and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Employers want to see a confident, open and honest person in an interview, not a person who is full of self-doubt and anxiety about his or her ability to perform the duties of the job.
Developing Positive Self-Worth
Feeling worthy and confident about your abilities is also not embellishing your skills and training. Rather, it is a way to highlight how your professional qualities, skills, and expertise benefits the employer.
There are some specific ways to build up self-worth and confidence prior to a return to work decision. Getting started early will allow you to develop a full understanding of what you have to offer and how you will fit into the workplace as a successful professional.
Try the following to assist in developing a healthy sense of self-worth:
- Volunteer – if you are feeling a bit out of practice, find a volunteer role for a few hours a week to allow you to work through these feelings. Choose something related to your line of work to boost your confidence and understanding of current technologies and methods.
- Make a list – keep a list of attributes, qualities and skills and continue to build on these positives. Think about how your life experiences, both professional and in your role as a parent have provided you with the skills needed to be successful.
- Seek Supportive Peers – look for people who are encouraging and supportive and stay away from people who are negative or dismissive of your choice to return to work.
- Take a class – attending a class, a workshop, or even listening to webinars and online trainings can help you to feel confident with changes that may have occurred in your chosen field.
We offer a range of services at Career-Mums but one that we tend to get feedback from for its ‘group support’ and ‘uplifting experience, is our ‘Relaunch Your Career Workshops’. It’s an opportunity for women to meet other like minded women in similar positions. Check our website for regular updates on our local workshops.