National Careers Week

Having a baby of course doesn't mean you have to leave your career behind or change it, but having a child may mean you have to make certain adjustments in order to juggle work with your family commitments .

When pregnant, often thinking about what will happen after maternity leave seems a very long way off and "Motherhood is such a special time that it's difficult to predict in advance how you will feel. Eva Ritvo, M.D. "It's not all about your ideals, though; other factors will play a role. Choose a scenario that feels right for both you and your partner now. "You can always change your mind if it isn't right, and as your child grows, you will likely find that you need to make changes in your life to accommodate that," says Brette Sember, author of The Practical Pregnancy Planner.

So if you expecting at the moment its a good idea to not rush into any decisions because who knows how you might feel when baby arrives. But it is a good idea to educate yourselves on both the law surrounding parental rights at work and your companies policy on things like flexible working or part time working requests. The legislation for flexible working can be found here. With more information available here .

Managing a baby and a career is often referred to as a balancing act, and for good reason there's a lot of juggling involved, and women often feel guilt, stress, frustration, and pressure in their attempts to manage both worlds.

However that doesn't mean that its impossible to maintain a career whilst raising children and many families do just that successfully and find a system that works for them.

I have always maintained that (minus a few mummy brain moments) my skill set and abilities were only enhanced after having a child, I found I worked harder with more purpose. I found that my ability to work to a set time frame was much enhanced and my ability to multitask was vastly improved. I think parents are a great asset to businesses.

Both myself and my PA embarked on career changes after the birth of our children and started new businesses for ourselves , ones that we found worked for our particular needs and plans that found our paths cross which is how we ended up working together. Hertfordshire is full of successful momtrepreneurs who have done just that and certainly the UK economy seems to have had a real boost as a result of these mums.

If you are interested in a career change then this is a useful resource.

If you are looking for local childcare providers for when you return to work there are some useful resources here: or here.

I've also included a link here to citizens advice: Parental rights at work.

So whether you are an expectant parent who may just be thinking about what you may want to do after maternity leave, you are a working parent managing to nail the work life combo or you are a mum looking for a new career and a new balance after becoming a parent - Happy international careers week. I know things can seem overwhelming at times but I promise you've got this.

My career change went from managing Europe and Asia headcount For Tesco HQ A total numbers and analytical game to being pulled into heavy projects around all the redundancies that we’re taking place and plastered all over the evening news five years ago. It was very stressful and I often found myself hiding in the toilet crying scared the stress was going to make me miscarry again. In the end I took a stand and said enough was enough and I could not be part of that project anymore. In fact I left in maternity leave at the earliest I could so I could mitigate the stresses. It was only then that I started thinking ahead and how on earth would manage being the mother I wanted to be and still be the career woman I had always been. I already knew if need be we could live on a shoe string, I am a surviver and we would get through it, it being 12 months of me not working and a large portion of that being basic maternity pay (a pittance!).

What I did not know was the gravity of how much being a mother meant to me which would hit me full in the face the very moment she was born.

It was that very moment I knew I was NOT going back EVER and I was going to start my own business and four months later Olivia Rocco Photography came to fruition.

Career changes are mighty scary, especially if you are leaving something secure and heading into the unknown but I am a big believer in putting positive vibes out there and my gosh if I can do it so can you!

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Olivia Rocco Photography

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