Top 6 tips for returning to work after parental leave

PUBLISHED18 October 2021

Transitioning back into the workplace after parental leave can be very challenging. It can become an emotional rollercoaster, where you are excited to be coming back to work but sad as you are spending time away from your child.

Feel like you are stuck and need some support transitioning back into part-time/full-time work? Here are some pointers that can assist you to get back on your feet after your leave.

Related: How to fit studying online into your life: 5 tips to survive

Tip 1: Be gentle with yourself

Accept that your life has changed dramatically – you will be tired, frustrated and even doubt yourself. However, you need to note that this is perfectly fine and it will pass after some time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, as you will learn how to tackle both at some point in your life.

Tip 2: Consider your schedule

There are a lot of aspects that you can cater to before you head back into the workplace, such as working part-time at first and then slowly transition into full-time. This will help you slowly learn how to multitask with parenting as well as your workload.


Tip 3: Do a few practice runs

Try to get ahead of time, and have your sitter or care-giver start a week or two early. This will help your child get used to not having you at home to care for them.

Tip 4: Speak to your manager

All managers understand when individuals need to go on parental leave. However, it is ideal to set realistic expectations with your boss and be upfront on what you can and cannot do now as you are a mother/father.

Tip 5: Have a plan B

If your best friend, neighbour, or even day-care cannot take care of your child, make sure to have a backup plan! Discuss possible situations with your boss, where (if your job allows it) you can work from home. This will help lessen the stress and then you can have a little buddy while you work.

Tip 6: Know your rights

The Australian Government (FairWork Ombudsman) has put together a tool kit for mothers and father’s to understand their rights as an employee going on parental leave.

Keeping in touch days allows employees to stay on unpaid parental leave but go back to work for a few days. This is a good way for employees who are caring for a baby to stay up to date with their workplace, refresh their skills and assist their return to work. Every employee receives 10 keeping in touch days.

Work on a keeping in touch day may include:

  • participating in a planning day
  • doing training or
  • attending a conference.

Job search after parental leave?

Are you seeking a role after your parental leave? To make the most of our job hunt with your little one, here are some tips that can be useful when search for a flexible career.

Update your resume

Make some changes to your old resume that include relevant work experience and highlight your achievements that reflect well on the role. Ensure that your resume represents the best version of yourself.

Work on your social profile

Social media is not just about staying in touch with your family, there are platforms that can help you find your new career and get connected with industry professionals. LinkedIn is a great tool to use and can be very useful when finding your new career. You can also get job referrals from some connections – when an opportunity becomes available.

Study Online

Studying online gives you the flexibility to study on your own terms and after completion, you can confidentially apply for your dream role. By upskilling, you can seek for multiple roles within your dream industry such as Aged CareChild CareCommunity ServicesDisability Care, or Mental Health.

Chat to us today or call us on 1800 885 791 about our flexible study options!

Speak to one of our Course and Career’s Advisors
if you have any further questions!

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Pick a time: lunchtime, after the kids are in bed, anytime. We’ll call you back.


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