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Making it Work: Maternity Leave Career Planning (Part 2)

October 26, 2016

Welcome back! I hope you have been able to start using some of the strategies mentioned in my first post on maternity leave career planning.

You are not alone in navigating this process as many other women are going through a similar transition. Of all of the working women who do become mothers, 90% will take a maternity leave with 44 weeks being the average length of leave (Statistics Canada, 2010).




To help you and all the other working mothers who are navigating this, I figured that you might like some more helpful strategies. Without further ado, here are some more ideas from the employer guide titled Making It Work: How to effectively manage maternity leave career transitions:

1. Determine what you need to re-onboard: Just as you needed to go through an onboarding process when you first started with your company, you may need to go through a re-onboarding process when you return from a maternity leave. Things have likely changed since your last day of work before taking your leave, so be patient with yourself and take time to learn anything new.

2. Consider and request flexible work arrangements as needed: Every mother returning from a maternity leave has a unique set of circumstances, so consider what your needs and preferences are. What will work best for you? Some ideas to consider are working from home, part-time work, and flexible work hours. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – you cannot get it unless you ask. For additional ideas and support on this, check out:


3. Seek support from a mentor: Get advice from another mother who has already been through a maternity leave career transition. You can check-in with her every so often for ideas and support.

4. Consider comeback coaching: Comeback coaching provides career transition support to mothers returning to employment after maternity leave or a more extended period of raising a family. It can begin in the weeks prior to the projected date of return, and can continue into the first few months after the actual return, or as needed. You can approach Canada Career Counselling for this support directly (and may be able to receive reimbursement for seeing a psychologist through your health benefits) or check to see if your employer is able to fund this for you.

5. If you would like some additional information about maternity leave career planning, check out the webinar created by Canada Career Counselling that is available at the following link:


Best of luck with your maternity leave career journey!
Michelle Sande
Registered Provisional Psychologist
Canada Career Counselling




Davidoff, A., Hambley, L., Dyrda, A., Choi, J., Lucas, C., & Teebay-Webb, R. (2016). Making It Work:
How to effectively manage maternity leave career transitions: An employer’s guide. Toronto, ON: Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).

Statistics Canada. (2010). Women in Canada: Paid Work, 1976-2009. Retrieved from:

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