Step 1: Review your career aspirations and flexibility requirements using our ‘Return to Work Toolkit’. What do you want to do and what type of flexibility will you need? Write down what your skills are; what are you good at and do you enjoy doing? Consider your flexibility needs, jot down at least two flexible work options you’d be prepared to trial eg: 3 days a week 9-5 or 5 days a week 10-2 etc. Create a short-list and research the most suitable and attractive job ads that fit your criteria via online job boards such as www.careermums.com.au and via recruitment agencies and newspapers and then evaluate the skills that employers are looking for. Register with mums@work and access a career consultant to discuss your career add flexible work options – ask about our career coaching, training and recruitment service.
Step 2: Know your return to work ‘right to request’ a flexible work arrangement entitlements. They include:
• Parental leave: Employees will have the ability to request a second 12 months of unpaid leave, so 24 months in total. Currently it is only 12 months.
• Right to request flexibility: An employee who is a parent of or has responsibility for a child under school age can request flexible working hours. An employer may refuse on ‘reasonable business grounds’. The request and refusal must be in writing and provide reasons.
Step 3: Prepare to negotiate with your current employer if you are planning to return after parental leave by writing a flexible work proposal. Alternatively, if you’re looking to start something new or prepare for job hunting by reviewing our handy job hunting tips and update your resume using our resume services. If you would like a free appraisal of your resume, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. When updating your resume, think about the activities you have been doing whilst raising your children and record these on your resume as ‘unpaid or volunteer work’. For example, raising money for a school fete or charity involves promotion, event management, negotiation, communication, marketing business development, and marketing skills. Job description of a mum.
Step 4: Find family friendly employers. Who are they? Is there one close to you? See our where to look guide. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) promotes women-friendly organisations with equal opportunity programs that recognise and advance their female workforce. Similarly, the National Work and Family Awards recognise private, public and community sector organisations with outstanding flexible working arrangements that meet the needs of the business and its employees. Visit either www.eowa.gov.au or www.workplace.gov.au for a list of family friendly and flexible employers in your state. Apply direct if you’d like to work work for one of these employers. We recommend KPMG, Johnson & Johnson Medical, Malleson Stephen Jaques as progressive workplaces supporting parents.
Step 5: Connect to flexible work providers and social networks. Ensure that you register your name and details with mums@work so we can connect you with family friendly jobs and other job channels to ensure you have broad coverage. Job boards and Agencies that we know and recommend are:
Careermums – www.careermums.com.au
Nine2Three – www.nine2three.com.au
Priorities – www.priorities.com.au
Seed Recruitment – www.seedrecruitment.com.au
Finally don’t forget to tell people in your family and friends network that you are returning to work and to look out for suitable opportunities – the best jobs are often sourced via people we know. Another great idea is to join online social media and networking sites such as www.linkedin.com and www.linkme.com.au. These channels allow you to register your professional details online for potential employers to access and make contact with you.
Find out more via our free job guidance hotline at www.mumsatwork.com.au
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