Are you preparing for maternity leave or currently on maternity leave? Have you taken a break from your career and preparing to return to your organisation? This page is written with you in mind.
Our experience is that career returners who view their return as a transition – rather than a single event – and who prepare and influence colleagues to act accordingly, make a smoother, more confident comeback. The practical book Mothers Work! How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return to Work (Hay House, 2011) by Jessica Chivers, The Talent Keeper Specialists founder, was written to help you do just that.
Our research and experience leads us to believe your smooth, successful return to work involves eight key steps.
You might also find the ʻRocket Womenʼ posts on our Latest Thinking page useful. These posts shine a light on women who have asked for something in their professional life that has had a significant impact on their career. We write them with the aiming of fuelling your resolve to ask for what you need to get on.
Whether youʼre a first-time parent or a dab hand at giving birth and making a career comeback, we know from experience that transitioning back into organisational life can be made smoother and more harmonious with supportive coaching conversations.
What is coaching? Simply put, coaching is a time to say whatʼs on your mind, be listened to in a way you may never have experienced before and plan ways forward on the objectives you set. We make use of a strengths-profiling tool during coaching which the academic literature associates with increased performance and engagement (see Roche & Hefferon, 2013). Your coach will use questions and reflective exercises to prompt your thinking. Conversations are confidential, non-judgemental and always focussed on solutions.
What do we talk about? Imagine youʼve been back in the saddle at work for six months and you feel confident, credible, stretched and energised. Everything is working well both professionally and personally. Our coaching time is there to devise ways to bridge the gap between where you are now and that ideal state of affairs – so whatever you need to talk
about, we can. Most coachees discuss a blend of day to day work issues, home life, career aspirations and colleague relations in their coaching time – the time spent on each varies from person to person, session to session.
How will I benefit? Our coachees describe a broad range of benefits. They talk about feeling more self-assured; relieved that how they are feeling is normal; clearer on career goals and energised to take action; confident to pitch for a different way of working; more prepared for their return; tooled-up to have conversations with their partner about how to share the load; performing better at work. The list goes on…
You may have been signposted to this page by a person in your organisation who is already working with The Talent Keeper Specialists – if so, we hope youʼve found it useful and look forward to working with you soon.
If youʼd like to position a request for maternity comeback coaching to your line manager or someone in your HR team click here to download our ʻmaternity comeback coaching – a compelling caseʼ document to send onto him or her. The paper sets out a business case for investing in maternity comeback coaching.
If you are keen to access coaching support and you are without an organisational sponsor you may be interested in
The Thinking Womanʼs Coach. This is a first-class, psychology-based coaching practice working exclusively with women who are in career transition and paying their own way.
"Best of all she does not dictate a 'one best way' but rather leaves options so that the reader can find the best way forward for her own situation."
Susan Mulholland, Job Match Ireland.
"Mothers Work is an excellent, practical and positive book. It recognises this is a big period of transition for the family unit and is hugely useful to help plan for and navigate it."
Kirstin Micilotta, pharmaceuticals