For those who take absence from the job market, for whatever reason, the notion of re-entering the working world can be immensely daunting. One of the reasons is that as humans we tend to habituate ourselves – we get into a different rhythm and going back to work is a different kind of demand to our routine.
Here are some of the things to bear in mind when getting back in the saddle:
- The experience and skills which you had prior to your break are still of value and can still be applied
You may initially have to start on a lower salary because your experience isn’t current – that drop in salary is not a reflection of you capabilities; rather, it is just the way the world of work works
- You may find yourself unnaturally tired at first, because this kind of work requires a different type of stamina
- It is possible that some colleagues may try to undervalue you because you haven’t worked recently. You need to be strong enough to ignore that – every day that you do work, you are gaining experience
- Deciding when to return to work is absolutely critical. Make sure that you are ready and in the right frame of mind
- Try all sorts of avenues to get yourself employed, not just online adverts, but also word-of-mouth, contact previous colleagues, and even contact companies whose culture or product you like. You can never predict where work opportunities will come from.
You may have to upskill yourself in certain areas. That’s a positive thing, not a punishment
- Think about your past working experiences and focus on these so that your mind recalls the ‘working you’, and is in that context when you apply for positions
- When asked about your time off work, describe it briefly in positive terms. Do not dwell on it as if it was a huge portion of your career
- See this as an opportunity to learn new skills
- Starting a new job is an exciting new phase of life – see it as this and enjoy the experience!
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