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Seven steps to reinventing your career after motherhood.

Your career is your first baby, but what do you do if you don’t want it anymore?

When you become a mother, it’s not just your bra size that changes. Your priorities become completely different.

Your old job might feel about as comfortable as one of your pre-baby strapless numbers. You could be struggling with long hours or find that you don’t actually want to be the ‘have it all’ mum with the high flying role and a little one who you can’t give enough time to.

Many women feel anxious and withdrawn and in the middle of a major identity crisis after they become mothers, according to Anna Jonak from Grow Happy Coaching.

Anna found herself in that exact position after having children Jack and Poppy. It was what inspired her to leave her sales and advertising career and retrain to help women at a career crossroad. She now offers one-on-one sessions and online courses, giving mothers the tools they need to start fresh.

These are Anna’s steps for making a positive career change to suit your new identity as a parent.

1. Stop making excuses.

You have twenty to thirty years of working left in your life. Do you really want to spend them all unhappy?

Feeling like you are rotting on the inside doesn’t have a positive flow on to your partner and children. “This is your life!” says Anna, “When you come up against an excuse such as money or time, set yourself a challenge to find the solution.”

If you're worried about time or money set yourself a challenge.

2. Decide WHAT you want.

You might be keen to work closer to home, to find a completely new career or to take the leap into your own business. Have a think about where you’d like your career to head and get the vision clear in your mind.

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3. Decide WHY you want it.

Knowing the reason that you are making a change will make it easier when the going gets tough. If your goal is to spend more time with your family, working towards it will keep you focused. Be clear on your values and what is important to you.

4. Make a plan.

Nothing happens by magic! You need to be strategic once you’ve made a decision on where you want your career to go. Write down the steps you’re going to take to achieve your objectives and start putting them into action.

Make plans and put them into action.

5. Set goals.

“Create a five year vision for yourself,” says Anna, “then start listing the smaller goals to make that happen. If you want to be a Pilates instructor, you haven’t failed if you’re not there in twelve months. But in that time you will have hopefully made some good contacts and enrolled in some courses to reach your long term goal.”

6. Hold yourself accountable.

Or better yet - nominate someone else who will. Explain your goals to a friend, partner or coach and ask them to check in with you. That way you’ll be more motivated to make progress and won’t let those excuses get the better of you.

7. Keep the faith.

Making a big change in your life is going to have its challenges. There will be setbacks and disappointments and things might get a little crazier before they get better. If you’re feeling browbeaten, revisit steps one through six and find a way to keep going.

Don't give in. Stay determined.

There’s a quote from author Karen Lamb, “A year from now, you may wish you started today.”

Being a mother can be the trigger for amazing change and opportunity in your life. There’s no better time than now to figure out what’s holding you back from evolving your career into one that you love.

What's your dream career you hope to be in one day?

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