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Career advice for mums: from career coach Assunta Cucca

Firstly, know that many women like you, when going back to work after a break, feel the same. You are not alone. Everyone faces his/her own fears in life, which tends to ‘attack’ our self-esteem.

I don’t agree with the concept of being ‘fearless’. The point is rather to create a partnership with our fears.

If this idea appeals to you, I invite you to stop and take a moment to close your eyes and imagine yourself going back to work, in the flexible job you are aspiring to.

Notice how you feel and what emotions and thoughts you might see arising. You might be hearing a sort of ‘voice’, or recurrent thoughts that make you feel uneasy and fearful and perhaps make you doubt that you can do it.

Well, open your eyes when ready, and name this voice, fear, or whatever it is that you have felt. Literally give it a name (Tom? Hanna?).

Write a letter to it. Get into a partnership with this voice, and explain why you might not agree with it, why you are happy to only listen when it makes you feel comfortable. Explore its motivations: why is it trying to make you uncomfortable? Where is this voice coming from? What does this voice want?

Get closer to it and realise that it’s not you but just a part of you and you can control it. Experiment with this exercise every day until you feel you’ve created a good distance between you and this voice, and you can start on your own path.

Good luck!