We show you how to stay at the forefront of your client’s mind during your maternity leave
One of the concerns women in contracting have when planning a family is how their maternity leave will affect their overall career progression, regardless of how long they decide to take off. Concerns can include wondering if it’ll be much harder to get back in the swing of things when returning to work, whether savings will see you through the months you’re not working, and if you’ll be an attractive candidate after taking time out from the rat race.
Whilst taking maternity leave will not affect your employability, there are some things you can do to ensure you remain at the forefront of your client’s minds during this time.
In this blog we look at what you can do to bridge the gap between bump, baby and beyond!
Swap being physically present for virtually connected
In this day and age you don’t have to be stood in front of your client for them to notice you. In fact, you could be taking your maternity leave whilst travelling the globe and still remain closer than ever to your clients.
Here’s a few tricks you can try to achieve virtual connection:
- Read news that’s specific to your client’s industry as well as yours as a Limited Company contractor. Let your clients know of any changes that might affect them and keep a dialogue open to discuss how topics can develop. Your interest in their industry will keep you fresh in their mind and show how much you care about what’s affecting them.
- Keep your LinkedIn profile and professional website up to date. Don’t be afraid to let people know how long you’ll be out of contracting for and therefore when you’ll be back. Join groups of interest on LinkedIn and conversations where you’re able to showcase your industry knowledge. Just because you’re not currently contracting, it does not mean you don’t know your stuff.
- Keep in contact with past clients and colleagues. Ask them about upcoming projects and how your skill set and experience could help them, then have work lined up for when you’re ready to return.
Network with like-minded mums
For highly skilled contractors, taking time out from work can either be a welcomed break or a professional nightmare. Fear of stepping off the train to success, only to try and get back on and find someone has taken your seat, can be a daunting and often frightening concept for some.
Finding a group of like-minded mums can not only ease your concerns, but can also banish any maternity blues or isolation you may be feeling. It will also grow your group of contacts and could lead onto future contracts.
Fill any knowledge gaps
Whilst your number one priority when on maternity will of course be on your new arrival (or arrivals!), there will be times when you’ll have some time to yourself. So why not use it to update your skills, or to take a look and see what skills are currently in demand?
Not only will you keep your mind sharp, you’ll hit the ground running when you’re ready to return to work, as you’ll have the skills clients are looking for.
Use your time to work on you
Everyone has their own strengths and interests which make them unique, and sometimes it’s those individual quirks which make us stand out to a particular employer. Why not use your maternity leave to explore a few hobbies or interests that you’ve always wanted to do?
For example, photography can show a client you’re disciplined and have an eye for detail, whilst volunteering can demonstrate your passion to improve a situation without the need for financial gain. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy doing that can be your escape for when you’re not busy being mum.
The contracting world is waiting for you – when you’re ready to return
We hope that this blog has given you some inspiration on ways in which to progress your career when you’re taking time off to be a new mum, and given you the confidence to ensure future clients will be waiting for you when you’re ready to return. After all, a career in contracting should work for you, rather than the other way round.
Have you previously been on maternity leave and have a tip that’s helped you get back into your working groove? Share it with us on twitter using @IntouchAcc, we’d love to hear your experiences.
This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.