No matter how accommodating your workplace is towards working mothers, there’s one thing that’s certain – being out of the loop for even a year can feel like the tectonic plates of the Earth are shifting underneath you.

The guy who used to make you coffee is now in management. The people who used to be your peers are now lording it over you with inflated pay packets. And the person who used to be your boss has moved onto pastures new. Suddenly your workplace is a sea of strangers.

Moving onwards and upwards then starts to feel about as realistic as meeting George Clooney or visiting the moon. As the gears shift in your absence, you’ve become a persona non-grata. This shouldn’t be how the world works, but workplaces can change dramatically without you.

Everyone is aware of this to an extent, but few mothers can adequately prepare themselves for their return to the workplace. But if working life is a game of chess, you’ll have to manoeuvre yourself into an optimal position on the board via training and solid, honest work.

There are plenty of ways to re-establish your worth straight in the door. Here are just a few.

The right degree

The idea of studying for a degree while looking after a new-born child might sound outlandish, but it’s not as much work as you might expect. Thanks to the wonders of distance learning, gaining a qualification in management can be done whenever you’ve got a spare few minutes.

Fully-accredited providers like Anglia Ruskin University provide degrees like the MSc Project Management, which can give you a foot on the top rungs of the career ladder. Just imagine – not only have you re-entered your office with confidence, but you’ve got a new qualification to bolster your skills. Your manager’s interest will be piqued as soon as you return.

Stay in touch

You’ve left the working world temporarily to raise a family, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep a low profile. Stay in touch with as many colleagues as possible to ensure you don’t fade from their memory, and keep your LinkedIn profile fresh and exciting.

With regular workplace contact, you won’t be taken by surprise when new members of staff join the team.

Know your role

There’s no need to seem aggressively territorial when you return from work. All you really need is to be good at your job. Make friends with your new colleagues, show them you know what you’re doing, and continue being effective in your workplace.

But that’s not the only advice we can give to working mothers. If you’ve got any tips, let us know in the comments below.

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