The choice to return to a former employer is a common occurrence among working moms, influenced by factors that shape their perception of opportunities. In the professional landscape, personal mindset plays a pivotal role.
A survey by workforce and human resource management company UKG indicates a notable correlation between a scarcity mindset and the decision to return to a former employer. The survey found that individuals often miss their peers or coworkers (38%), the familiarity and comfort associated with their roles (31%), and the connection with the customers they served (22%). Even amid the Great Resignation, 43% of those who left their jobs during the pandemic later acknowledged that they were better off in their former roles, with one in five individuals returning to their previous employment. Additionally, 41% express a willingness to consider returning if the opportunity arises.
The Scarcity Mindset: Seeking Stability in Familiarity
Dr. Jenny Woo, founder and CEO of Mind Brain Emotion, explains how a scarcity mindset, particularly concerning finances, can drive working moms to return to a former employer. “The scarcity mindset views life through a lens of limitation, where opportunities are scarce and personal capabilities are deficient. Working moms with a scarcity mindset are likelier to return to a former employer for income assurance in a familiar environment,” says Woo. Financial pressures lead to a perception of opportunities as scarce and personal capabilities as deficient, making a return to a former employer a pragmatic choice for income assurance in a known environment.
Woo further emphasizes the fear of economic insecurity as a powerful motivator for risk-averse behaviors. The reluctance to embrace change and invest in further education can hinder professional growth, trapping working moms in roles that prioritize stability over advancement.
Amy Shoenthal, author of The Setback Cycle: How Defining Moments Can Move Us Forward, provides insights into how workplace culture influences working moms with a scarcity mindset. “Factors that may play into parents’ decisions to return include whether or not they have affordable, accessible childcare, whether they have a partner and if that partner earns an income, health insurance, their level of motivation to advance in their role, their earning potential at that organization.”
The Abundance Mindset: Proactively Shaping Career Trajectories
Conversely, an abundance mindset, as explained by Woo, fosters optimism, gratitude, and empowerment in career decisions. Working moms with an abundance mindset approach their careers proactively, seeking opportunities aligned with their values and aspirations. This mindset encourages negotiation for fair compensation, self-advocacy for flexible work arrangements, and a pursuit of professional development.
Workplace culture plays a pivotal role for moms with an abundance mindset. Jessica Galica, a career and leadership coach and author of Leap: Why It’s Time to Let Go to Get Ahead In Your Career, suggests that moms actively seek benefits like affordable childcare, flexible work arrangements, and professional development, characteristics associated with an abundance mindset.
This proactive approach indicates that working moms strategically evaluate and negotiate for conditions that align with their needs and values, reflecting the proactive nature associated with an abundance mindset. “Affordable childcare, paid leave, and a flexible working environment are the benefits I see moms demanding most frequently today. Women are not seeking the easy way out, but they are seeking trust and flexibility to do great work on their terms.”
Understanding the interplay between scarcity and abundance mindsets is essential for both working moms and employers. The decision to return to a former employer reflects not just a need for stability but also the influence of one’s mindset on career choices.
Fostering an environment that recognizes and supports the diverse needs of working moms is crucial. Employers can cultivate inclusive cultures that offer flexible working arrangements, transparent career pathways, and opportunities for continuous growth. Recognizing the proactive nature of moms with an abundance mindset and aligning workplace policies accordingly can lead to a more supportive and inclusive professional landscape.
Understanding the dynamics of scarcity and abundance mindsets is paramount for working moms and employers alike. The decision to return to a former employer is shaped not only by a need for stability but also by the mindset influencing career choices.
To create a supportive environment, employers must recognize and cater to the diverse needs of working moms. Cultivating an inclusive culture with flexible working arrangements, transparent career pathways, and ongoing growth opportunities is essential. Aligning workplace policies with the proactive nature of moms possessing an abundance mindset can lead to a more supportive and inclusive professional landscape.