Career Change Programme for Parents Returning to Work
Returning to work
Returning to work after a period of maternity or paternity leave is hard enough. Maybe your self-confidence has taken a battering since having a baby and being out the loop for so long; maybe you’re worried your baby brain isn’t up to the job; maybe you’re fretting about how tired you’ll be at work if your child wakes during the night; maybe you’re nervous because a lot of the people you knew at work have now left; or maybe you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to get everything done at work AND at home.
These concerns, in addition to all the other worries and anxieties we often have about returning to work, are made a lot harder if you also hate the job you’re returning to.
These days, a lot of parents have to return to work for financial reasons, and many also want to work for their own interest and self-development. However, there’s nothing worse than dropping off your child at nursery or school to commute to a soul-destroying job that you hate. Life’s too short to be full of such dread each day.
Perfect time for a change
Being on maternity/paternity leave, or a career break since having kids, is the perfect time to consider a career change. It offers you the opportunity to step back and re-evaluate what you’re doing with your life. Having children often changes your perspective on what’s important too, meaning you become more aware of how you’d prefer your career to be.
So, here you are. You’ve decided you don’t want to go back to your old job, but you have little/no idea what you want to do instead.
This career change process aims to help you take a journey from uncertainty about your present career, and not knowing what your next step might be, through to having a clear vision of a career that is absolutely right for you, and a plan for how to create it.
The programme provides a structured framework for the coaching in the form of interesting and engaging exercises, which will bring out the creativity and resourcefulness in you, and direct it toward discovering the right next step for your working life.
The coaching sessions are broken down into three distinct phases: EXPLORE, IDEAS, and ACTION.
1.EXPLORE phase (7 sessions)
Research shows that those who are most satisfied and motivated by their work are in careers which reflect who they really are; careers which reflect their true nature and their real passions; careers which draw on their innate strengths and employ their favourite skills; careers which allow them to honour their deeply-held values. Because of this, the foundation of Alice’s coaching programme entails a long, hard look at who you are as a person, and your life as a whole.
During the EXPLORE phase, you’ll get a clear idea of:
- your values
- your life purpose
- your most powerful self
- your personal strengths
- your interests and passions
- your personal achievements
- everything you need in your life to be happy and fulfilled.
The next layer in the EXPLORE phase is about your key work preferences. You’ll work to identify:
- your favourite job skills
- your key work motivators
- your professional strengths
- your greatest work achievements
- your preferred working organisation and environment
- your ideal working day
- everything you need in your working life to be motivated and satisfied.
By the end of the EXPLORE phase, you will be very clear about what you must have in your new career to be satisfied and motivated, which then acts as the acid test for evaluating any future career ideas or job opportunities.
2. IDEAS phase (2 sessions)
This is a very creative part of the coaching programme, where we generate a number of possible new career choices. The idea here is to be expansive, to think outside the box, not to be constrained at this stage by traditional notions of what’s possible.
The most attractive ideas are then explored in some detail, before being narrowed down to between 1-3 strong possibilities, which will be explored further in the ACTION phase, the final part of the process.
3. ACTION phase (3 sessions)
ACTION is the point where you investigate the top possibility that was generated in the IDEAS phase. Together we use a creative and empowering process, which lets you turn your compelling vision for an exciting career that’s right for you, into a clear, structured Action Plan you can follow in order to make it a reality.
What Else to Expect
Alice works with those serious about making changes in their career, as sessions require an open mind, a willingness to take risks, accountability, and a sincere commitment to implementing the actions agreed between you and Alice. The more keen and ready you are to move forward in your career, the more you will get out of the programme.
Coaching sessions are not a quick fix but an investment of time, commitment, energy, and acceptance of responsibility towards your future, and how it turns out. Investing in coaching is your first step in taking charge of your future, and carving out a happy, fulfilling, and enjoyable career. The coach can not wave a magic wand (unfortunately), nor can they tell you what career path to take. The responsibility for making decisions ultimately remains with you, which is good, as it's your future, not theirs. The coach is there to facilitate your self-awareness, and help you make sense of your answers to the challenging questions they ask you, so that you can draw concrete conclusions much more easily and objectively than you would if you were trying to figure it all out on your own.
Coaching sessions last approximately 60-90 mins, taking place once every 1-2 weeks. Alice’s clients are typically London-based, but telephone and online (Skype & Zoom) sessions are also available, which work just as well as face to face sessions.
Next Step? Arrange an Introductory Session
For those keen to get started and find out more about coaching, Alice offers a 45-60 minute online introductory session (£35) to discuss your current situation, your goals, and what to expect from coaching. You can then decide whether Alice is the right coach for you and how you would like to proceed.
I found the sessions with Alice very beneficial as they helped me deal with my so-called Quarter Life Crisis. By the end of the sessions, I was generally a more happier and content person.