The realisation that you need your career back
It was woman’s hour that did it for me. Not so much that I was bored with it, more the pain of listening to the “Power list”, realising there was no way I’d ever be on it, and wondering why I’d sacrificed my degree and twenty years of professional training and experience to become a mother/dogwalker/administrator/fixer/wife. That, along with the startling realisation that my toddlers were actually turning into teenagers.
With families spending a lot more time together over the last several months, there has been plenty of time to contemplate your role. What do you do for others? And what’s left for yourself?
What does your future look like?
The pandemic will end. We will move on to something different. Most clients I speak to envisage a hybrid way of working for everyone: some remote working, some days in the office. What does your personal future hold?
Back in 2014, after a six year career break I realised I had a good 20 years ahead of me to work, learning something new, make an impact and – yes – actually earn some money. The question was, what to do about it.
Beware the voices in your head
It’s so easy to find excuses – the house will fall apart without you, the kids still need you, the tech has passed you by, recruiters won’t want to know, You’re too old. We’ve heard them all. Some may be true (ish); many will not. There is usually a way round any obstacle, if you have the nous and the will to find it. And who knows, those kids might benefit from you not being around so much.
The telltale signs you’re ready to reclaim your career
Ask yourself whether any or all of these tell tale signs might possibly mean that you, too, are ready to reclaim your career.
- The toddlers for whom you gave up your career are now perfectly capable of taking public transport to school and could probably rustle up a bowl of pesto and pasta if left to their own devices.
- The last time you learnt something new it was Spanish at night school (and even then you didn’t make it to the end of the course).
- Your brain is ready to tackle something more complex than the intricate daily diaries of three children, a dog, a house and a needy partner.
- Thinking about it, it’s high time they all took care of their own needs a bit more and stopped relying so much. Except maybe the dog.
- The prospect of another lockdown where you have to conjure up a menu for everyone twice a day, seven days a week as the potential to send you over the edge
- The people you trained with are all now “Head of ..” or “Director of …”, with careers that have gone from strength to strength. Note to self: now is not the time to be embarrassed, ashamed, envious or frustrated – being in positions of influence means they can help you. And they will.
- Hitting forty (or fifty) doesn’t feel at all daunting. In fact there’s an awful lot that’s liberating about it. No more soft play, no school runs, more time for yourself …
- Spending another twenty years operating below your potential, on the other hand, does feel very daunting. And not a pleasant prospect.
- Whereas the prospect of getting your career back on track and having more disposable income, well, that DOES feel exciting.
- You’ve even gone out and bought yourself a copy of “She’s Back: Your guide to returning to work.” It set you back £7.99 so you must be serious about this.
Don’t let the niggling doubts in your head stop you from achieving your full potential. At work as well as at home. (If you’re a lawyer, check out the Reignite Academy where we have opportunities now for anyone ready to return).