Returning to Work After Parental Leave? |

You’ve been away from work for a while on parental leave and you are considering a return to work. Here are three things you can do to get ready.


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Hi, I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm a career and leadership coach, a former recruiter. And I hope you find this video helpful.

Let me start off by saying, congratulations. Apparently, you and your family are ready for a transition, or so you believe you'll find out pretty quickly whether they are, I know you are. Now the next part of this is on the employer's side. Because depending upon how long you've been away from the workforce, it's going to be easy or hard to land something new.

Now, easy if you're going back to a former employer, or easier. Remember, if you've been gone for six months, hHey, no big woop. The only question is whether your role is still available to you there and under what conditions you're planning on returning to work. Been a long time? Suddenly, there are questions about your skills, and your availability. And you may want to work only part time and they need full time people.

So a couple of things I think will help. Number one is, if you know your skills are rusty, like if you were interviewing you, and you knew that you had some brush up to do, it's better if you take an online course, do some of the prep work so that we walk into an interview, your skills are not as rusty as they might be. And thus you can demonstrate to a potential employer what you're capable of doing, just like you did before.

Number two is be clear about what you're looking for. Are you willing to go back full time? No? Okay, that's real clear. Yes, under what circumstances can you work 90 hours a week, probably not. And thus, this is about you and your expectations. From their standpoint, they have a need, and on yours, on your side, so do you. The twain doesn't have to, to connect all the time. What it needs to do is, you need to find an organization that will respect your needs. And that may take a while.

Number three is I always encourage people when they're returning after a leave, to kind of ease their way back into it by doing some part time work, good work, something along those lines, to give them that feeling of the workplace. And, you know, having something to deliver on within a particular period of time is kind of like work.

So for example, if you're a graphic designer, you can get on different websites, and do graphic design work on a contract basis. Don't worry about the money. The money is like going to be a bonus. It's going to be really about getting yourself back into the swing of the workplace and defining the number of days and hours you can work. Fiverr's a site for that. Upwork Fiverr, I'll link to in the show notes. Same with Upwork.

But the idea is, you want to start experiencing what it's like to be back at work again. And, this way, be able to demonstrate to an employer that you've been doing some work on the side. Now, once you've been able to get back to work, and thus be able to show them that you're not rusty.

Remember, coursework, clarity, gig work, those are three opening steps for you in order to feel ready to return to work.

I'm Jeff Altman. I hope you found this helpful. Visit my website, There's a ton of great information in the blog, that's going to help you be more effective. I've got courses and classes that you can check out on on the website as well. Connect with me on linkedin at

And I hope you found this helpful and more importantly, be great! Take care!


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes.

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Returning to Work After Parental Leave? |

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