Returning to education is commonplace for many people who’ve had a break in employment, particularly if you’re a parent looking to return to the workplace.
There are lots of options for mums looking to balance family life with their learning. But going back to work can often raise some issues – you might find you no longer want to work in the same way you used to, with the same company, or even in the same industry. But it’s a great time to evaluate what you want to do and then put a little time in ensuring you achieve that.
Going back to education and hitting the books can give you a real sense of achievement as you’ll be investing in your career, focussing on your professional development and laying the foundations for a brighter future for your family.
Whether you’re looking to retrain completely or update your knowledge for better career prospects, here’s how you can get back into education.
Find your why
Life as a busy mum can be pretty tough, without the added demands that adult education brings. You’ll need to really think about why you want to go back to learning and the opportunities it will afford you.
64% of new mums are interested in retraining and find enrolling on a course during their maternity leave useful. It gives you the breathing space to pursue the learning opportunities you may have been too busy to think about when you were working full-time. Completing just 1 hour of online learning a few times a week can have you well on the way to upskilling or reskilling for a career when you are ready to go back work after maternity leave! That’s achievable for most parents.
Here’s how to turn your spare time into a career opportunity
Having a baby will make you look at your life choices and career completely differently. Don’t be surprised if you start asking yourself questions like:
“Am I working in the role and industry that makes me happy?”
“Do I earn enough to support my family?”
“Could I upskill to earn a promotion?”
“Do I want to branch out and be my own boss?”
It’s not uncommon for mums to want a new career (or better prospects) rather than going back to their old job. Reports show that 60% of mums change jobs after maternity leave because their priorities have changed drastically. After all, it’s not just your own future you’ll need to think about, but your little one’s future too.
Here are the 8 signs that tell you it’s time for a job change
Choosing the right course
Once you’ve got a clear idea about the area you want to train in and the skills you’ll need to land a new job, you can start looking for courses to see what’s on offer. It’s worth taking everything into consideration before you start, such as:
When are the course days and times?
How long will it take to travel there?
Is there an online learning option?
Who will look after the kids while you learn?
How long will the course take to complete?
What qualification/certification will you earn at the end of the course?
How much is the course? Can you spread the cost if you need to?
Is career support included after you’ve graduated?
Having these things in mind will help you choose the course and learning provider that’s right for you.
It’s also worth considering an online course. Having the flexibility to study at a time and pace that suits you can really help to fit your learning around your family commitments.
Times are changing
Recent reports have found a huge rise in the number of women in employment in the UK. In fact, the proportion of working-age mothers has risen by nearly 50% in the past 40 years!
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) credited the rise to a huge change in working patterns and wider availability of flexible learning. Meaning mums can now find the time to further educate themselves and get back into work without needing to compromise on their careers or family time.
The introduction of flexible working and shared parental leave has also made it easier for fathers to share childcare responsibilities, allowing women to return to work after having a baby.
There are many career routes you could pursue and sometimes your perfect job isn’t always obvious.
Why not write down your hobbies and interests and see if you can carve out a career in one of them. For example, if you love working out, why not consider starting a career as a personal trainer. You’ll get to help your clients look and feel fantastic and the hours are super flexible. Many people prefer working out before or after their working day, meaning you can make a living around the usual 9-5!
Find out how much you can earn as a personal trainer
If technology is more your thing, you could train to become a freelance software developer or web developer. The number of women in technology is gradually increasing, in fact there were 61,430 more women working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in 2017 than in 2016. There’s still a long way to go for equality in the industry but women now make up 24% of all employees working in STEM industries.
Here’s the 6 signs you should start a career in IT
If you adore being at home with the kids, helping them with their homework and guiding their learning, why not consider a career in the classroom? Many mums and dads find retraining to become a teaching assistant the perfect complement to the skills they‘ve learned as a parent.
You’ll be able to work in a fun environment and help the students with their studies. The hours are also family-friendly and are usually flexible, you may even be able to get a position in the school your own children attend!
Find out more about the perks of being a teaching assistant
Maybe you’re a whiz at arranging birthday or family parties? Do you enjoy the thrill of planning the entertainment, guest list and party favours? Sounds like you would make a great event planner! Wondering if it’s the right career move for you?
Here are the pros and cons of becoming an events planner
Whether you are looking for a career in health and fitness, IT, education or events management, The Training Room is here to help you get back into work and into the career that suits your lifestyle!