Changing Your Career After You've Started a Family

Changing Your Career After You've Started a Family

It's not uncommon for parents to change their jobs—or even their whole career path—once they've brought their first child into the world. After all, you have to account for daycare, additional expenses on food and clothing, doctor's appointments, soccer practice, and so on. It can seem like a tall order for any parent, but it can be managed with the right attitude and focus.

Here's how you, as a working parent, can handle this mid-career transition.

1. Consider your child's care during the day. One huge relief you can give yourself during this time is to consider where your child will be during the day while you're at work. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a parent or family friend who lives nearby and can look after them, but that's not always the case. Consider daycare centers or certified babysitters and nannies.

2. Look at an employer's policies on family leave and benefits. Some employers are more family-friendly than others, providing working parents with benefits like flexible schedules, children's healthcare coverage, or the ability to work from home. As much as you may want to stay within your chosen field, you need to consider the needs of your family as well as your own professional goals.

3. Don't use your family as leverage on job interviews and applications. It is illegal for employers to not hire someone on account of a pregnancy or having small children, but that doesn't mean it can't still affect an employer's decisions. Until you get a job interview or a serious offer from another company, avoid any discussion or mention of your new family. Focus on marketing your skills and experience first.

4. Network with other working parents. Thanks to sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, professional network has never been easier. It's possible for young parents to talk to other working moms and dads and find out which companies offer the best benefits for a family. You can also join groups to discuss job-hunting tips and more effective parenting strategies.

5. Find an appropriate balance between work and family life. When it comes to working parents, the burden is usually hardest on mothers, who look after more of the children and their household than working fathers do. However, it's important that both parents find a way to share the workload of child care just as they share their household income. And while you might feel guilty about asking for time off from work, you should never feel ashamed to be spending enough time with your kids.


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