There is never a better time to reconnect with your values and take stock of the direction in which you would like your career to head than immediately after your return to work! Most people who return to work after parental leave find that working their way through Steps 1, 2, 5 & 6 is still incredibly beneficial, as many of the concepts are relevant regardless of where you are at in your career journey. The content covered in these Steps is especially relevant as you navigate new priorities, potentially a flexible work arrangement, and new dynamics within your relationship.
Having a professional vision will do the heavy lifting for you in terms of setting boundaries and prioritising what is most important. From that perspective, we would encourage you to have a look at Steps 1 and 2.
After their return to work many women continue to experience what we term as “second generation bias.” It’s more of an invisible or subtle bias, that operates to undermine confidence. Mapping your stakeholders’ potential biases and thinking about the conversation you want to have with them and how you want them to feel afterwards is helpful in delivering the right messages. Again there are tools to enable you to do this at the end of Step 2.
You will also benefit from reflecting on the kind of flexibility that is critical to you being able to fulfil your potential professionally and personally, and also who will be able to support you to protect that flexibility, and give you, in effect, the license to operate you need. Negotiating flexibility from the point of mutual benefit and leveraging the contributions and achievements you’ve delivered means you won’t simply feel “grateful” for any flexibility agreed. From this perspective, I would strongly suggest you have a look at Steps 5 & 6, and make sure you feel you have the support you need both at home and at work to realise the vision you have for your career.