3  powerful steps for women to advance their careers—at any stage

Whether you’re leaning in full throttle, returning to work after a break, or juggling a career after a baby, here are three strategies for helping you feel more in control as a working parent.


I don’t care if you have 15 years of experience in advertising, law, architecture, or a mix of work in different industries. It doesn’t matter if you never left work, you are returning after taking time off at home with the kids, or pregnant and thinking about post-partum work-life.

You have had years of experience inside and outside of work, pick a subject matter on which you would like to build credibility, articulate a point of view and share it online. This can pave the way for new career opportunities by allowing you to build credibility and helping you grow your network online and off. That’s how Morra Aarons Mele got started. In episode 3 of my podcast, she describes it this way:

I just started writing and writing and writing for more outlets. I realized very early how incredibly easy it is to publishing yourself online. People begin to take you seriously. Then lo and behold you become sort of an expert in something. In the the digital age, it almost really is that simple.

I think it’s really important for women. We come in and out of the work force. It’s just a fact that women’s career progression are going to be interrupted by caregiving at some point. We have different social networks than men. We have fewer access points to power traditionally. One of my favorite lines is after work, men head for the bar with colleagues and women head for the grocery store or dry cleaner.

Building an online brand that is reputable and credible could subvert all of those barriers. That just blows my mind.

You can be in your home office in your yoga pants with your kids upstairs, but if you have a good voice, you are plugged in and you know what you’re talking about, you can have influence.

I think that’s something that every woman needs to take seriously.


First, identify your goals. Are you trying to stay in the loop professionally? Are you looking to break into a new field and gather information? Inventory your current contacts. (Think of past employers, alumni networks, friends, friends of friends). List the people you’d love to reach out to who are out of your close circle of contacts. Create realistic goals for the next 1, 3, 6 months, one year. Schedule time to reach out and follow up. Build relationships and be generous.


You don’t always know where your connections are going to come from or where they are going to go. You could meet someone on a trip, at the playground or at the co-op. If you find them interesting, don’t worry about if you are in the same industry or role, just talk to them for a while.

The key to career longevity is going to depend on your ability to be open to new possibilities and career ideas. If you have a set idea where you want to go, you will have a harder time making career progress. There are many paths forward.

A version of this post was appeared originally on Reworking Parents.

Maybrooks is a career resource for moms. Search jobs, research family friendly companies, and find tools to navigate your career.

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10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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