Becoming a parent is almost always going to affect your career in some way. Unless you can afford to hire a full-time nanny, your kids are going to change how you need to manage your life. Some of the ways having children affect your career and income can be negative, while some might experience positive effects. Unfortunately, evidence shows that these positives and negatives can follow a gender bias – men’s careers benefit from becoming fathers, while women’s often suffer. But both men and women could see positive effects on their career, as well as experiencing negatives.
Breaks in Your Career
Having children often means taking a break from your career, whether it’s for a few weeks or a few years. Being a working mother is much more common than it once was, but being a stay-at-home dad is also becoming a little more common. There are both positives and negatives to taking time off work, beyond the standard maternity/parental leave. Of course, one fantastic positive is spending time with your children. It can also give you time to think about a change of career path. But getting back to work can be hard, affecting your career and income. Parents can consider doing things like volunteering, working part-time or even running a business to keep in touch with their career.
In the Workplace
When you become a parent, juggling your job and your responsibilities at home can be hard. Everything from breastfeeding a baby to picking your kids up from school can clash with work. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, you have to work out how to balance being a parent and working on your career. You can start off on the right foot by learning how your statutory maternity rights. Find out more here to make sure your employer is following the rules, and you fulfil your responsibilities too. It can be hard to combat some discrimination and bias you might experience as a parent. Sometimes, the best way to fight it is to show true grit and determination in the face of it.
New Skills That Benefit Your Career
Being a parent has plenty of benefits that can help you in your career too, although it can sometimes take some work to convince employers of that. Looking after your children can help you develop skills that are also useful at work. For example, you can work on things like time management, negotiation, conflict resolution, and more. However, it’s possibly best not to directly compare negotiating with clients to dealing with toddlers!
A Different Approach to Work/Life Balance
Balancing your work and home life becomes more difficult as a parent. However, your ability to do so can become an asset. Some parents become more productive at work – possibly because they want to get more done so they can go home! Being a parent can get you to take a look at how you balance work and your personal life so you can create a healthier balance.
Having a family does have an impact on your career, but it doesn’t all have to be negative. You can find ways that being a parent can give you an edge.