After pressing ‘pause’ on your career, what happens when you press ‘play’?

“Pressing pause” on your career – so that you can make the shift to dedicated fulltime parenting – is both noble, and terrifying. For some, it’s a no-brainer. For most of us, it takes courage. It’s a  tough decision to put your child’s needs (at the foundational stage) before your own. 

Choosing to go back to work, however, is almost more terrifying. Re-entering the workforce, after an absence, comes with a whole new set of challenges. Akin to soldiers having to adapt to civilian life, after years in extreme conflict-zones. 

The excitement of getting stuck into something bigger, and adding your unique value;  is often tempered by fear (that you’re no longer on top of things), lack of confidence, anxiety and low self-esteem. 

Like her or not, even Khloe Kardashian has admitted to these feelings of fear and inadequacy. On a more serious note, tons of academic research (a US government white paper on The Parental Gender Earnings Gap, and a 10-year in-depth survey of 900 Harvard female graduates, to name just two) substantiate that you’re not alone. Re-entry into the workforce, after an absence, is challenging.

Fortunately, there are ways to re-ignite yourself. Starting with something as simple as defining the unique value you contributed to your role in the past, coupled with the new qualities and skills you’ve gained from parenting (e.g. patience, determination, etc). Or list all the people in your network (both personal and work-related) who are either connected or can vouch for your work ethic. 

Better yet, investigate how to update your past experience with the knowledge and skills that are relevant right now. Online courses are your best go-to buddy here – offering the convenience, flexibility and very little interference to your daily routine, apart from allocating a few hours per week to learning.

With that said, a word of caution:  there are loads of options out there — many of them free or offered at a really low price. It can get confusing. Do the research, read the reviews and make sure the precious hours you spend making yourself work-ready and equipped (for whatever you missed out on), are worth it. Regard this as an investment in your future. It’s not only about adding new skills to your arsenal, but also about adding a signal on your CV that tells industry ‘you have what it takes’. 

Consider Red & Yellow Creative School of Business as one of the better choices. There’s a reason HR peeps move job applications from our graduates to the top of the pile and why we celebrate the career growth our Alumni have experienced. Our online courses are quick-fix solutions to getting back into the swing of things, and ensuring you have skills relevant to market needs.  Ranging from 5 weeks to 2 years, you can easily weave upskilling yourself in between the demands of ‘normal’ life.

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