When it comes to the workplace (and everything else, for that matter), women often face unique challenges. They may have to work harder to gain respect, while getting paid less for performing the same tasks. And sometimes, they choose to leave the workplace for several years to raise children, only to have trouble getting back into the swing of things when the time comes to return.
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.