Confidence for new Mums who are returning to their corporate careers (from mat leave) is a topic on which I am often asked to speak.
The Mum Club, a UK Events and Online Community with over 47,000 followers on Instagram, asked me to record an interview, providing my top pieces of advice for new Mums, whether they are returning to work soon, or have been back some time.
Here is an excerpt of the script:
Right now I’m working with around 100 professional new Mums all over the world on improving their confidence – and these are often women that you think would have bags of confidence.
So for example, I work with
Lawyers, School Head Teachers, Engineers, and those in industries like Publishing, Accounting, HR and Media…
Often they say things to me like:
- “I feel intimated by my mat leave cover, I’m worried they have done a better job than I did”; or
- “I’m worried about how my colleagues will perceive me when I leave the office early”; or”I can’t stay back late like I used to, I’m not sure how I’m going to be successful in my job anymore or meet my boss’ expectations – I used to do so well at work”
When I hear these things, it’s actually their confidence speaking.
So if you have said these things to yourself – whether you’re on mat leave right now or back at work – then the tips that I will share shortly are going to be really useful for you. And I want you also to know that you are not alone.
Less than 1 in 5 Mums in the UK feel confident in returning to work.
And I felt the same, so I when I went back to work from maternity leave last year, I went back to my corporate job – I did media and communications for one of Australia’s top 4 banks – I went back to a bigger role, I did it in a compressed work week and had terrible sleep deprivation.
What I found was that my confidence went up and down. I used to have, I would say, a reasonable level of confidence and that partly came from loving my job and being successful at it.
When I returned from mat leave I had some big moments of self-doubt and what I noticed within me and I see with Mums that I work with – and I’m hoping to do a study on this next year – that there’s a correlation between how you feel as a Mum – whether you judge yourself as a Mother and then how good your confidence is when you show up at work.
So first thing we are going to do is work on your mindset.
I have to tell you that there’s no silver bullet, but there are some incredibly quick and simple things that you can do most days to really supercharge your confidence as a Mum and as a career woman…
First thing is: I want you to stop on comparing yourself to your mat leave cover; I want you to stop worrying about what your colleagues will think when you need to leave the office “early” to collect your child; and I want you to stop being concerned about how you are going to meet your boss’ expectations…Give yourself permission to stop.
Write it down on a piece of paper which is incredibly cathartic: Write out – I give myself permission to stop…and then whatever that is.
Put it on your bedside table and say it out loud to yourself until you start to believe it.
To watch the interview and hear the rest of my tips and advice click here. Note: This will take you to The Mum Club Instagram page.