I returned to work from maternity about a year ago and I still feel a little unsteady on my feet: not so much in being in the classroom or the subject knowledge side, rather in a kind of ‘where am I’? feeling.
I am in a very lucky position because I teach two days a week and work as an editor and materials writer for two days and am able to spend 3 days with my son. I’m employed (rather than self-employed), so I don’t need to worry about where the next job is coming from. However, I just don’t feel stable, or where I want to be, career wise. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my job, but , I think, that I feel a little stale and as if I’m not going no where fast. I’m not sure if this is because I’m working for two different departments and have the impression I don’t really have a hand in either: I can only be given a certain amount of work and be involved in projects on a certain level. That said, I don’t wish to alter my work pattern, as I am gaining experience as an editor and I would ideally like to become a freelance editor (development and copy) and EFL materials writer (this is a very long term goal), so all practice (and knowledge gained through it) is useful. Some of the projects I’ve been involved in for a few years (before maternity) are very fast moving and I sometimes feel that things have passed me by and now that I’m no longer working full time, that I’m overlooked. It’s the same on the teaching side as well. I sometimes feel quite forgotten! I’ve no idea if this is actually the case or my feeling insecure. Is this what all recently returned mothers feel?
All that said, I am doing what I can to counter-balance my mood;
- I’ve set myself goals that fit where I want to develop (we have to set goals as part of our appraisal system)
- I’ve started completing training courses on MOOCS such as Coursera and FutureLearn
- I participate in online webinars from CUP, Macmillan and the like (including IATEFL online),
- I’ve set up a Facebook page to contact other professionals in the field
- I tweet for the same reason (@sarahaliefl)
- I’ve started to blog on a more regular basis
In doing this I’ve started to take the long view and hope that while I feel I’m not currently moving forward where I am, all these little things will add up, so that when an opportunity does come my way I’m ready to grab it
(good things come to those who wait – right? hic!).