{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m wanting to quit my job to have a baby and raise my child for a few years. Anyone else have experience with this and was it difficult finding an employer upon returning to the workforce? Did you have to take step down in role/pay, was it difficult to ramp back up, etc.?", "post_id": "61ef90e8d87c8300392ea920", "reply_count": 27, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

I’m wanting to quit my job to have a baby and raise my child for a few years. Anyone else have experience with this and was it difficult finding an employer upon returning to the workforce? Did you have to take step down in role/pay, was it difficult to ramp back up, etc.?

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Me. Left Biglaw as an 8th year. Stayed home for 4 years. I could not find another job when I was ready to return. Ended up at a Big four accounting firm making substantially less. I wish I had stayed and instead gone flex 60% and taken one month off every summer. I blew it big time.

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I was 3 days a week when I left and there were definitely other associates who planned ahead in order to take off 4 weeks in a row.

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If you really want to go back someday- Go reduced hours or contract at a biglaw firm. True gaps are really really hard to recover from.

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I’ve talked about my experience before on here. I was in big law for five years, took 4 and a few months off, and went in house in big tech 3 months ago. No one even batted an eye about my time off in my interviews and I got a job pretty much the second I started applying. My salary now is the same as when I left big law, but less than if I went back to a firm at my year due to all the insane salary increases. Companies are a lot more open to career breaks now. No one can predict the future tho. The job market is really hot right now and I’m sure I’m benefiting from it. No one can know how things will be in 3 or 4 years. It could be another hot market or we could be in a recession. Life is all about flexibility and pivoting and doing the right thing for yourself and your family right now. I am so, so grateful I took time off. I loved my time off and now have the strongest bond with my kids. Kids that grow up going to daycare or raised by nannies can do fine too, but it’s undeniable that they won’t develop the same close bond with you. I won’t sugar coat being a SAHM tho. It was more exhausting than big law and your spouse will have a hard time understanding how hard it is, but it was also magical and I loved watching them grow up every day.

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I’m just going to chime in and say this: happy mama = happy babies. Some mums hate staying at home and become alcoholics because of it - I’ve met a few. I stayed home for a year and was bored to death and unhappy. It didn’t help that we had no family or support system and were in a new town where we had no friends, so I was very isolated. Anyway, my child wasn’t better off for it and actually still ended up in daycare because I had post-partum depression. I have 2 children now and had a much better experience working with my second child and going reduced time for a while - we all have a really close bond now. Do what works for YOU based on where your family is at. If you’re not burnt out and looking for long term change, consider going reduced time after maternity leave and see if that is satisfying enough.

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My perspective after 25 years of recruiting is that you should keep your hands in the jar in some way. Even if it's very part time it is important that your skills don't look stale. Is a real shame that it's so difficult to re-enter the market but it is so to the extent you can do some thing it counts and I highly recommend it

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I am commenting to note that you may want to wait until you take maternity leave and are home with your baby for several months to make this decision. I applaud SAHMs (and don’t know how they do it). I always thought that was what I wanted, but after each of my two maternity leaves (4 months with my now 5yo and 6 months with my now 18mo), I was SO ready to go back to work (and I had the option to choose to be a SAHM each time). There is no one size fits all on this decision. I am posting to note for you that what you think may be the right fit for you could be different pre-baby and postpartum. There’s usually no reason not to leave your options open. (All that said, I bailed on my secondary market big law gig for an awesome regional firm - interviewed at 9 months pregnant with my first and started when he was 4mo), and so I most def do NOT work big law hours. I don’t think I could pull that off, although the reduced hours big law option some have mentioned seems do-able. I think my current situation is similar to that. Baby dust and best wishes for whatever path you choose. You will know what’s right for you once you adjust to mommy-hood and further consider your options.

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Totally agree with this

Same thought with me, no baby yet. Is the right answer to go from biglaw (currently atrocious hours in transactional) to in house from 8am to 5/7pm? Would love to work even less but not sure what the good options are - please share, content mothers!

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I’ve rarely seen people return at the same level they left, they’ve always had to take a step back and that was when the person was able to land a law firm position at all. The Mom Project could be a good place to start, that’s fairly new and growing so most of the people I know who took a break did so before that was up and running. Hiring is crazy right now, so I wouldn’t base your decision on the current market.

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How long have you practiced and how strong are your relationships? I took 2 years out and got an offer back in biglaw - though admittedly as counsel when I should be a partner by now.

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A partner told me to ramp down instead of leave. To be clear, I don’t work for her, she’s just a mentor. She said there are plenty of opportunities to do less stimulating work, but stay in the profession while you focus on your family. Then you can ramp back up when you’re ready

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