5 Tips for Maintaining Career Growth as a New Mom


Working mom at a computer writing.For many moms, maternity leave yields mixed emotions about the future. Once the early haze of motherhood lifts and you settle into a routine, you remember you have to return to work. Pre-baby, I was confident I would be bored on maternity leave and eager to return to work. Turns out, I was wrong . . . sort of.

“I don’t want to go back to work” crossed my mind several times. While I didn’t want to leave my sweet baby, I knew being a stay-at-home parent was not for me. My career was on a positive trajectory, and I didn’t want to lose the momentum.

The Sky Is the Limit

So how does a new mom maintain career growth? Is that concept even feasible?


Since my son arrived in 2019, my career has blossomed. I truly focused my energy and efforts in a strategic way after becoming a mom.

While every journey is unique and every career field has nuances, I’m confident that the strategies that helped me can help you, too!

Tip 1: Expand Your Circle

Join a professional organization and be an active member. Utilize the listserv, presentations with Q&As, and networking events to connect with others. Networking has been an asset to me in many ways and is a skill I continue to hone.

*Networking can be intimidating. Remind yourself this isn’t your social circle; networking has a specific purpose.

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Tip 2: Be Involved

Find something that fills your soul with joy and participate regularly. Join an Employee Resource Group (ERG), a committee at church, volunteer at a food pantry, shelter for victims of domestic violence, or other groups that support social causes. Wherever you give your time, be consistent. Many companies are integrating social causes into goals and culture and actively seek candidates that align with company values.

Tip 3: Take a Seat {a Board Seat}

Seek leadership roles in your field. Start with smaller commitments close to your role, like an employee resource group (ERG) or professional organization. Groups need board members, event planners, communications support, and more. These are opportunities to learn new skills in a low pressure environment.

Also consider organizations outside your field like committees with your local school district. Most committees are open to community members and a great way to have a voice that impacts kids. Committees have positions like secretary, subcommittee chair and co-chair, and advisory boards.

Tip 4: Learn Something New

Another strong option to support career growth is to earn a certification. Look outside your direct scope of work and in areas that are a stretch, yet relevant. Utilize your network within professional organizations to gauge how specific knowledge and credentials may benefit your career.

Tip: Check your company benefits plan for tuition reimbursement.

>> RELATED READ :: How to Survive Working from Home with Kids {But no Childcare} <<

Tip 5: Move On Up

The landscape of employment has shifted in recent years. People regularly seek opportunities outside of their current company to advance their career and salary. This concept used to be taboo and is now very much the norm.

If your instincts are leading you towards change, go with it! Being a mom can make new jobs scary for many reasons. Give yourself room to move around and try new things. Your home life will benefit, too.

*Keep job alerts active to stay up-to-date with the market. Don’t hesitate to apply for a job when you don’t meet 100 percent of the qualifications.

What Not to Do

I usually don’t recommend requesting more responsibilities in your current role unless the experience is key for advancement, the opportunity is unique, or desirable financial compensation is included. If an opportunity is presented to you, consider if it aligns with your long-term strategy.

If it doesn’t, don’t take it on. Do not feel guilty saying “no” and setting boundaries.

The Theme

The common theme in my tips is exploring new opportunities and being consistent with involvement. Your goal is to show that you’re dedicated and willing to take on responsibilities.

Depending on your bandwidth, you may find a harmony of several opportunities.

What I Chose

I’m a mentor with the Frisco Achieve Mentoring program through Frisco ISD. I visit my  mentee 30 minutes per week during the school year. We play games, finish homework, and talk about what’s happening in their world. The time is low-key and fun!

I’m also on two committees under the same professional organization. One group is active during the fall and the other requires one to two hours per month, mostly via email and occasional meetings. Staying within one organization helps me be more involved with less mental bandwidth.A baby types on a Mac laptop.

Work-Life Integration

As a new mom, you’re excited to leave work on time and be with your baby. Invest your time and energy in opportunities that fit your new schedule and professional goals.

Embrace opportunities to network and grow; don’t fear saying “no” if something doesn’t interest you. You may connect with yourself in new ways. The opportunities are limitless!

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Jennifer Fiske
Jennifer ("Jenn") Fiske grew up in San Antonio as the only-child from a military family. She's lived in DFW for 10 years with her husband, and their family has grown to include their toddler son and a sweet puppy. Jenn is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a master's in exercise and sports nutrition. She worked with FC Dallas for several seasons while also coaching gymnastics at WOGA Frisco. She's also worked with Medical City Healthcare, DFW Airport, and Frisco ISD. Jenn is a self-proclaimed bookworm who bakes when she's stressed. Jenn loves being active through strength training and yoga and exploring parks with her son. When it comes to family feeding and nutrition, Jenn believes keeping things simple and lighthearted paves the way for enjoyable family meals.


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