How to Get Back Into the Workforce After A Maternity Leave

Having a child is one of the most fulfilling moments in woman’s life and being ready to get back to work is an essential for success. At times, returning to work can stress new moms out as they think about childcare, schedules, the demands of the job and the emotions around separation. However, preparing in advance can help mitigate some of the upheavals and hopefully provide comfort during what is supposed to be an amazing time.

Whether you are returning in a few more months or you are gearing up for a maternity leave, we recommend that you keep reading.

A Business State of Mind

It is normal for most women to feel out of touch after being out of work for nine months. Get prepared by re-engaging with work colleagues, checking up on emails if you’re returning to your company, and start reading updates on what you may have missed. Try out your proposed “return to work” schedule a week before going back to work so you get reacclimated to commute traffic, leaving your little one alone, and the time it will take to get out the door while still packing diaper bag, getting dressed, and having adequate snuggle time.

If you are not on LinkedIn but are looking for a new, post-maternity job, I suggest that six months before your return, you sign up and reconnect with colleagues and previous employers. Meeting with a recruitment consultant can assist you with updating your resume, a mock interview and registering for online courses to enhance your skills.

Ask for Flexibility

As a mother and employee, your life is three dimensional, and your work-life balance can become unpredictable. Before you go back to work, request a flexible schedule. The first five years of being back to work will come with mixed emotions, stress and leave work to tend to your child. It’s vital to speak with your boss about your needs, any changes to your goals and what support you may need as you transition back.

For example, you’ll need to carve time in your schedule for when you need to drop your child at daycare or pick them up after school, and your boss should know your hours may shift.

Dress to Impress

Appearance in the workplace, while secondary, is key especially when you are returning from a maternity leave. One week before your return, consider getting a fresh new look at a hair salon to help boost your confidence.

Now that spring is right around the corner, wear bright colors. Embrace your title as working mom by looking fabulous, even if you’re feeling a bit flustered. Trust me, you’re inspiring other women in the workplace. Wear comfortable work shoes or bring a pair of running shoes if you take public transportation or need to make visits to the daycare. As a telecommuter working from home, dress up as if you are in the office. It will make you feel motivated to work hard and commit to a schedule.

Workplace Rules to Live By

Now that you’re a mom, the rules may be a little different. Talk to your boss about any new expectations, changes in your abilities, and your needs, as well as any company shifts. Avoid feeling left out by making extra effort to reconnect with team members and being transparent about your goals and needs. Attend at least one off-site outing with colleagues to show you are a team player interested in finding out who they are as individuals. To avoid feeling out of touch, read newspapers or magazines to keep you entertained during this stressful time. It might even help improve your social skills with colleagues to land the dream job you always wanted.


Makeda Waterman is a professional writer with an Education in Journalism, Mass Communications, and Public Relations. She writes for the Huffington Post Canada and Elite Daily on millennial topics with the goal of helping people improve the quality of their lives and career.

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