If you're in this position, you need a career advancement strategy, to ensure that you don't slip off the radar. It's sad but true, your strategy needs to include ways to counter the stereotypes ingrained in some office work environments relating to 'mums 'n' bubs' .
Stereotypes include your peers and manager thinking:
- 'She's not really interested in anything more challenging because she's busy with her family.'
- 'She's not committed to work anymore.'
- 'There's no point promoting her because she's going to have another baby.'
So how to you stay front of mind? Take this maternity leave advice and start by remembering that career advancement requires you to focus and it requires continued work:
- Find a mentor who will remind people of your achievements, goals, and desire to return to work.
- Network to remind people that your career is still important. Let everyone know how good you are and that you're ready for a challenge when you return to work.
- Meet with your boss and his/her boss to discuss your goals. Confirm you'll be coming back to work and want to be promoted. Then ask point blank what experience you'll need to get to the next stage. Also seek approval for professional development opportunities.
- Volunteer part-time for a corporate committee and continue to attend meetings even when on leave 'it will spread your name across your organisation.
- Offer to give advice and be available by phone to the person back filling your position, and keep reporting to your boss to demonstrate your commitment to your career.
Unless you maintain contact with your boss while you're on leave 'maternity, job rotation or on site at a client's office 'you'll end up being 'out of sight, out of mind'. It's up to you to be proactive and stay in touch.