To help women better navigate the working world, Jean talks to Mary Lou Quinlan, a columnist for More magazine and the founder of the strategic marketing company, Just Ask a Woman. Here are Mary Lou's tips for getting back to work and, once there, what to do if you get pink-slipped after 40:
- Whenever you make business or work-related decisions, try to do it with a plan in mind—even if it's a little vague, says Mary Lou.
- When you leave work to have children, keep a toe in the water, Mary Lou says. It's important to maintain your contacts, and you might even want to consider working part-time.
- When job hunting, look for companies that are flexible with working mothers.
- Be tuned-in to your environment. If you see people getting laid off, be realistic about the chances of that happening to you. Always look ahead.
- Be upfront with your boss. Explain that you see what's happening, and you're willing to be flexible with the new direction the company is taking.
- If you become too expensive (which often happens when you've been with the same company for many years), offer to work less overtime or take-on additional responsibilities.