19 Jan 4 questions parents should ask about returning to work
When I finally made the decision to return to work after babies, I had a thousand questions and no real sense of how to get the answers, writes Karen Miles
Here are the four magic questions parents need to ask themselves before accepting that job offer.
- Can I work here?
This is ground-zero stuff. If you can’t check off every item on this first list, run far away from this job.
- The company has policies, entitlements, and procedures for working parents, as well as flexible work options and arrangements. Check the company website, Google their background and visit the Workplace Gender Equality Agency online for further information
- Can I perform here?
Can you confidently check off…
- I have realistic expectations about my career, such as skills, experience and goals
- I have my head and heart around my new life as a parent
- I’ve accepted the impact being a parent has on my career
- I’m physically rested (seven to eight hours sleep per night)
- My mind is energised by this role – I feel alive with ideas and excitement about how I can contribute and what I’ll be working on
- There’s open and regular communication with my manager – consider the interviewer’s communication style while applying for the job and how easily you build rapport
- There’s open and regular communication with the team – ask to meet the team and take a walk around the office to assess the ‘vibe’.
- Can I belong here?
This question helps you assess whether you can really feel part of the company. Time to get creative with your job interview questions so you can dig up some detail, ask: “How do you like to celebrate a big win” “Can you tell me about the people who work here?” and “What does it take to be successful in this role/ company?” Look for tell-tale signs like pictures of kids and their artwork decorating office walls, and employees mentioning how they pop out to attend school functions.
Can you say to yourself…
When I finally made the decision to return to work after babies, I had a thousand questions and no real sense of how to get the answers. Here are the four magic questions parents need to ask themselves before accepting that job offer.
- Can I thrive here?
If you’ve made it to this question, you’ve likely picked a company that could be perfect for you.
Here’s a final checklist:
- I have a level of control over when and where I work
- I’m not trying to fit a full-time week into part-time hours
- I have my own identity as a parent
- Working parents are promoted and rewarded in this company.
How did you go? By asking these questions, you can develop a plan for getting the job that works for you as a working parent.