Being On Mat Leave Can Be The Best Time For Your Career Development!

Yes, I know what you are thinking . . . how could that be when I’m averaging 2 hours sleep a night?
And that’s on a good night! How could that be when I don’t get anytime to myself? Ever.
Well, before you start throwing things at me, I’m not suggesting that you attempt developing your career in the first 3 months of baby’s life, but perhaps after that, when you start feeling a
little more in control of the new situation.
Here are some simple steps to move forward
RESEARCH
First thing to ask yourself is “What do I really want to be doing when I return to work?
Am I returning to same-same or do I want something different?
At work what do I do well?
What do I want more of?
What do I want less of?
And if so, what companies would I like to work for? What is essential?”
UPSKILLING
Next question to ask is, “What qualifications or upskilling do I need to do, if I am to change careers,
change direction or develop in my current role when I return to work?
What short online courses can I do whilst I am at home?
Can I find a course that I could do in small steps?”
BRANDING
We’ve all heard this word and what does it mean for me, a currently at-home mum?
What does it mean to “brand yourself?”
From a random Google search –
“Branding yourself means making yourself visible, and communicating via all avenues your personal
values and what your stand for, with total clarity and consistency. It’s especially important to
highlight your uniqueness in some easy to remember way, so people will think of you and what you
do, in case they need your product or service.”
Branding is the perception others have of you in a variety of situations. How do you sell yourself?
So how do I simply brand my professional self if I am at home all the time?

  • Branding yourself might mean organising a sitter and being present at a short training your work is holding.
  • Branding might be mentioning to influential work people that you are studying a ‘such and such’ course to bring yourself up to speed when you return to work
  • Branding might be putting a photo on Facebook of you and a work friend having coffee to “discuss the changes in your industry”
  • Branding on Facebook might be a pic of you and baby enjoying the sunshine while you read a book or article, with the caption ‘Studying (or trying to!!) for my first assessment in Widget Making’
  • Branding might be putting a short post on your LinkedIn profile about your current research on changes in your industry (Yes, do make sure your LinkedIn profile is kept up-to-date. With the right keywords, it’s read by a lot of recruiters!)

COFFEE (aka NETWORKING)
Networking is linked to branding also.
Am I arranging occasional coffee catch-ups with people from work? Or if I am planning to change
career direction, am I having coffee with people who can give me advice? Helps if they are
influential in the industry your seeking.
 
Robin Mitchell
I am a job search coach who has helped thousands of people become the best job applicants. My website www.jobsearchessentials.com.au has fast affordable training packages to help you develop your resume; learn how to tap into the ‘hidden’ market where up to 80% of jobs are never advertised; or develop confident interview techniques.
I am also available for personal coaching for anyone living in Sydney or by phone. Please contact me at robin@jobsearchessentials.com.au
 

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