maternity leave Picture

How to increase your career on maternity leave

What to do if you are expecting a child but love to work? How to spend maternity leave if it is important for you not to slow down in your career development, not to lose the level of income that your job gives you?

 There is no limit to joy! You are expecting a baby! And you know that you have the right to 2, 5 months of sick leave before the birth of a baby and maternity leave, first up to 1.5 years and, if you want, you can extend it to 3 years.

But what if you love to work, if it is important for you not to slow down your career development, not to lose the level of income that your job gives you?

Let’s be honest. For two years outside of work tasks, you will not only stop in your development but also rollback. The world is now moving at increased speeds, professions are developing as fast as technology. To stay in place, you have to go forward. To move forward, one must run. You need to be aware that now there are rare situations when at work they will remember your previous merits and will be glad to see you in your previous place after 2 years of “rest” at home. You must be aware that your colleagues and possibly your subordinates will occupy higher positions by that time, and you will be offered, at best, your previous one. 

If you do not work or you have nowhere to return after the decree, but you need to understand that for the employer you are a candidate with at least two fat minuses. First, you have not worked for two years, which means you lost the habit and lost a number of skills and knowledge. Secondly, you have a small child who will distract you from work with diseases, the need for a mother and will create a general background in which work is clearly not your priority.

Is the picture sad? And how. After all, we all understand that in a global sense, the Child is much more important than the Work. But you can make sure that the decree does not become your sacrifice on the altar of your family and does not serve as a reason to lose your career capital accumulated over the years of work. And, perhaps, even became a time for excellent professional growth.

The methods below may or may not be used based on your situation at work. Someone may not go for something. But you can use all at once if your purposefulness is especially high.


This is possible if your health, corporate rules, and working conditions permit. There are tons of jobs that you can work in almost before giving birth. Including, for example, part-time. As an option – to transfer work to a remote mode, home office.

Thus, you will be involved in professional activities for a longer time and, if you agree correctly, you will be able to receive both sick leave and wages for the hours worked.

For example, my friend, a lawyer, worked until the last day, because she felt good and did not feel the need for additional rest. Another worked in the family shop both before and after childbirth, periodically replacing sick co-workers. I switched to home office mode with a visit to the company’s office about once a week.


After the birth of the baby, when you feel the strength to contact the management of your company and offer to perform many tasks in the home office format. You don’t need to take on many tasks, no more than 1-2 working hours a day. Don’t forget to negotiate the payment.

This method will allow you not to fall out of the work process and the team, will demonstrate loyalty and focus on work, responsibility and it will be easy for you to return to your previous place.

Again from the examples, another lawyer friend of mine performs a number of work tasks at home, spending 3-4 hours a week. Girlfriend-HR, going on maternity leave, agreed with the director that she would also maintain the company’s accounts in social networks at home.  


There are tons of online learning opportunities right now. From large-scale courses such as COURSERA to online viewing of industry conferences. There are paid and free options. There are options in which you will have to do your homework. There are those in which at the end of your studies you can get a certificate of advanced training.

Ideally, if the courses can be viewed in the recording. So that you can choose a convenient time for training.

Also, if you have the opportunity to entrust a child to someone, you can study in absentia or on weekend courses. It usually costs more and requires more preparation time and effort, but it is also more valuable.

Learning means developing your brain, gaining the latest knowledge and thereby improving your skills. Not to mention the fact that when you go to work after maternity leave, it will be more difficult for you to find time for study. While studying, you can get a new profession if you do not want to work anymore in the old profession. And having a qualification in a new industry will be a big plus when looking for a job.

Choose your course topics wisely. Let it fit your profession. Or that new profession in which you want to be realized. Of course, the course on theater history is very interesting, but you need to understand that it will not help you become more in demand as a finance specialist.

Also, the decree is a good way to fill the lack of any knowledge that you need for further growth. For example, you don’t know English. And on the next career step, you need it. Why not learn it using Skype lessons? 

And do not forget to share with your management information about your new knowledge at the end of your studies. Email your colleagues. Share on social networks, show your diploma. Let the right people know that you have reached the next level and do not forget about you.

Again, one of my friends got a higher education while she was on maternity leave. And she became a qualified food service technologist. That allowed her after the decree to get a higher position in the company. Another graduated from the correspondence degree in the organization of tourism business. The third is taking photography courses and has big plans for applying her new knowledge. The fourth accepted the employer’s offer to retrain, studied and went to work in a rare profession – a patent specialist. And the fifth day announced that she was learning to make videos! Yes, it is difficult to study with a baby in your arms, but it is quite possible!

During the decree, I watch online broadcasts of conferences on HR and career. Passed courses on staff motivation, new CRM for recruiting, self-assessment, headhunting.


If you are not given remote tasks, at your work, or if you yourself do not want to take them or do not plan to return. If you do not have a permanent job, But with all this there is a desire to grow and develop and earn money – OFFER YOUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, which you can provide remote or in a format convenient for you.

Formulate and describe what you could do and how much you want. Keeping records of a small company at home? Borrow SMM for multiple clients? Create advertising layouts? Write sales texts? Bake cakes? Help with tax returns? All of these services cost real money and support your qualifications. All this you can do at the times when it is convenient for you.

Write about what you are ready to do on social networks. Write to your family friends and colleagues. Place an advertisement on the sites HeadHunter, Avito, and YouDo.

Again, examples. My wonderful friend and mother of a 2-year-old girl writes amazing cakes and sweets, forming beautiful and delicious gift sets for the holidays. Another lovely mum of two on maternity leave into consulting and helping companies increase sales and build teams. The third provides legal services. My colleague HR, while on maternity leave, organized a regional Association of HR Specialists. Well, I’m looking for people for private companies for individual orders and career consulting in the online format, I write articles on HR.


The most freeway. Compatible with any others.

It is very difficult to rebuild a brain tired from sleepless nights to read nonfiction literature, especially if it is not about how to get rid of colic and how to help with the growth of teeth. But this is actually necessary, even if you are not going to do any of the above. They say that reading professional literature is like work or study. This is not something that is read at night to fall asleep faster. We chose half an hour in the afternoon or in the morning, sat down, and read exactly as much as they could. Outlined the main ideas. We presented how to apply it. Ideally, after reading, write a review that includes your thoughts. All this allows you to consolidate knowledge. You can send information about the book to your colleagues by writing, that you liked it (or not) and with advice or not.

The essence of all these methods is to stay in the workflow completely. Don’t let your brain relax in relation to work. Prevent yourself from losing your qualifications and the modernity of knowledge. Do not let yourself be forgotten as a specialist at your work and outside. Give yourself the opportunity to earn. And if you have to look for work after the decree – not to get into a situation? when you have to settle for a lower position with lower pay than you had (that is, lose your career capital).

What else would you add to the indicated methods? Was it easy for you to return to work after the decree?