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People assume that when you have a baby, your career might be the last thing on your mind. Sure, you’re going to have a lot of child-related matters on your mind throughout the nine months when your little one is developing inside you. You’re going to want to browse cots and moses baskets. You’ll probably consider different names a few times a day. You may be distracted by aches, pains, or other physical problems that are common during pregnancy. But many of us are thinking about our careers at the same time. Think about it. If you’re used to working, you can’t necessarily just turn off the career driven individual who forms a part of your identity and personality simply because you’re becoming a mom. Chances are that you’re thinking about how taking maternity leave is affecting your work – statutory maternity leave is 52 weeks or one year and a lot can change in your workplace during this time. When you head back you’re going to be behind on projects, someone else will have been covering your work, and you may feel a little out of the loop and you might feel a bit anxious about returning. Taking time away from work can also give us time and space to reflect on our current position and whether we are content with it or not. We might come to the conclusion that our current role isn’t fulfilling our wants or needs. You might want to specialise in another area. You might want to try out working for a different company. Put simply, having a baby could actually kickstart your consideration of a new career and once you feel ready to head back to the workplace, you might be settled on trying something new out. Here are a few things to consider if this is the path that you want to take!
Pursuing a Higher Education
If you want a complete change of career path, you might want to consider heading back to higher education. While you may think that you don’t have time to head to lectures and seminars on a campus around raising your newborn child. But don’t jump to conclusions. Many higher education institutions are offering online courses, which means you can fit your studies around your other responsibilities. You can gain a qualification while pausing classes to change your little one’s nappy or put them to bed. You just need to focus on your time management and be committed to the cause. Before you know it, you could be qualified in a completely new area and be searching for jobs in a completely new field.
From Employed to Self-Employed
If you were previously employed but have determined that a self-employed job will provide you with more flexibility while your little one is growing up (as you tend to choose your own working days and hours), you might want to consider this switch! Just remember that self-employed positions don’t provide you with as much stability or guarantee of income as employed positions. You will not receive annual leave, you won’t receive future statutory maternity pay, and you might not be paid for time that you are sick. So, weigh up the pros and cons before quitting your current job or committing to anything. If you are going to become a freelancer, it is generally best to draw up some form of contract that commits people to hiring you for a given period of time or a given number of projects. This ensures that you will have a reliable income to provide for your little one.
Starting Your Own Business
If you do decide that the relative freedom of a self-employed lifestyle could be better for you now that you have children, you might want to set up your own small business. This means that you can work from home and keep an eye on your little ones at the same time, while creating something that could truly flourish and prove lucrative. Consider taking courses in subject areas such as business management or business administration – you can click here to view the programme that could really benefit you while you start out! It’s generally best to get ideas together and conduct market research while you are still employed. You can then come to a sound decision on whether your product or service concept holds potential and make an informed decision on whether to remain in your employed position or leave from there.
From Self-Employed to Employed
If you were previously self-employed and working for yourself, you may have found maternity leave relatively difficult. While employees enjoy paid maternity leave, the rules for self-employed individuals are pretty different. If you are self-employed, you don’t have an employer who legally has to cover your pay while you take time off to have your child and welcome them into the world. Instead, you are left to fend for yourself. While you can claim a maternity allowance from the government, you can only take leave once you have been pregnant for twenty six weeks, the amount that you are given will be dependent on your class 2 national insurance contributions, and you need to have been working for a test period of twenty six weeks prior. This can be a struggle. If you don’t have savings to fall back on, you might find that you would prefer the stability that comes hand in hand with an employed position, and could start searching for one which could benefit you in the future.
Sure, many of us will head back to our usual workplace after we have had a child. But it’s important to remember that this isn’t the only option for you. Post-pregnancy could prove to be the perfect time to start out in a new career if you know exactly what it is that you want to do. So, why not give it a moment’s thought? You could steer your life in an altogether positive direction that suits your new commitments and responsibilities down to a tee!