Angharad with the family
My name is Angharad, and I’m a Programme Support Officer for Ambition North Wales and also mum to five wonderful children. I returned to work this year, after spending 20 years being a full-time mum. I want to share three key things I’ve learned with you and why returning to work is not as scary as you may think.
1) You already have the skills you need to be successful:
Being a parent, you already have skills from running a busy home and family life which will equip you with the emotional and physical resilience to function in the workplace efficiently. My role as a mum helped me develop skills such as; multi-tasking, planning, organisation, supporting those around you, listening well, stretching yourself, being optimistic, asking for help, and taking pride in what you do. Trust me, you are already using skills which are valuable and needed in the workplace.
2) Don’t listen to the niggling self-doubts:
Most of us have a niggling voice of self-doubt, and after taking time out to raise a familiy , you may start to believe it. I’m here to tell you, don’t! Doubt is a big obstacle in your career, but there is often no evidence to these doubts - so don’t listen. Adapt to a new mindset, balancing the demands you may have at home with the new ones from the office. It is possible - you’re an expert at prioritising, remember!
A willingness to learn as you go along, can help you overcome any feelings of inadequacy you may be thinking. There is so much support out there, from: online training, peer-buddies, and in my case, a friendly, supportive and patient team.
3) You will feel empowered:
Returning to work is a road of self-discovery. You will realise things about yourself you never knew before. You will build your resilience, gain confidence, find ways to support others in work and start believing in yourself again. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. A few knock backs are important to keep you on your toes and push you in the right direction. Change can be scary, but, like all things new, they can be so rewarding and exhilarating.
My family are still the most important thing to me, that will never change. However, my children now think “Mum can now do new things”, which has them seeing me in a new light - that is a great feeling.
You may be reading this and already feel the eagerness to return to the buzz of paid work or your situation may mean you have to start earning again. Whatever your reasons, I know first hand that it may feel daunting, but I want to reassure anyone who may be doubting their ability to return to work that you can do it. You already have what it takes, so go for it.