Raising a family can be intense, all-consuming, and while your children are young, it can be physically and mentally exhausting. Some days it might be hard to imagine working on your own professional development at this stage of your life, but if you’re considering a return to work one day, doing the five things below will ensure you’re one step ahead when you do decide it’s time to return.
1. Nourish your mind
Staying up to speed with your industry of interest (either your old industry or a new one you’re considering), will not only ensure you’re up to speed with recent developments and issues, it will also build your confidence, help you to feel connected and may make for interesting conversations when you catch up with old colleagues.
2. Take on a growth project
Take on a career or work-related growth project each year. This might be a short consulting project or a volunteer role that allows you to showcase and sharpen your skills. These experiences can be valuable additions to your resume and can be included in the space where a career gap might otherwise be.
3. Stay linked-in
Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Occasionally updating your profile and keeping in touch with your network via LinkedIn keeps you top of mind and reminds your contacts that you are still professionally active.
4. Make time to foster your network
Attend an inspiring business-related event once or twice a year, grab a coffee with a former colleague every 6 months, or more often.
Find a like-minded friend and keep each other accountable. Meet up to discuss your ideas and dreams and support each other to stay professionally active.
Time at home with your children is precious and important work, but if you have a fire in your belly related to your past or future career, a little regular investment to keep the embers burning, will pay dividends down the track.