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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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