Getting back into work after a long break
Going back to work after an extended period away can be a daunting task, even for the most experienced professional. Whether it’s because you took maternity/paternity leave, long service leave, family reasons, leave without pay (for a long break), or a myriad of other reasons… When you have had a period of months or years away from your job, or your field, returning to work can be a nervous time for many.
With the Easter break fast approaching, SB Recruitment have put together some tips for easing back in to the workplace when you have been away for a lengthy amount of time.
Be prepared for change. In today’s fast paced world, change is inevitable and even just a 6-month period away from work can see some companies go through large shifts in the way an organisation operates. New technology systems, staff restructures, or a change in strategic direction can make the workplace you once new very different. The best advice we can offer is to assume everything will have changed so you are prepared for whatever comes your way.
Be patient with yourself. Adjusting back into a work routine, job and life in general after an extended break can be stressful, tire you out and make it feel like you are starting all over. So remember, be kind to yourself and give yourself time to readjust back into work after a long period away.
Treat it like a new job. Often when you return to work after an extended break, everything can be quite different. By treating your return to work like a new employment opportunity you can ease yourself back in, renew your passions and reconnect with colleagues – many of whom may be new to the organisation, including the person who was filling your role while you were away. Perhaps your role has even changed within the organisation while you have been away? Most experts say it takes 3-6 months to settle into a new role. By giving yourself permission for it to take this long when returning to work you are much more likely to get a positive result from re-entering, rather than feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and looking for a new job!
Get organised. If you are returning to full time work the adjustment can be even larger, especially if kids are involved! So, preparation is key. Sort out your meals and washing for the week prior to returning to work so when you get home there is less to think about. No doubt you will be tired from all the mental energy you will use returning to work, so don’t make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. Some simple meal prep can make a massive difference to the evening/after work routine. If you add taking children to and from day care into the mix you need to be even more organised. Rally on your support network during this time. Maybe a friend, spouse or relative could pick up the kids to assist with you settling back in.
You may have to start over. Perhaps the job you left is no longer yours, the role no longer suits you, you have a new role in the organisation, or a new job altogether is on the cards? It pays to be ready either way! If you took an extended period of leave it is possible that you may not have a job to go back to. If this is the case, you will need to start your employment search all over again. So make sure your CV is up to date, including a clear, but brief explanation as to why there is a gap in your employment, and reach out to your networks and recruitment agencies to let them know what’s going on. The quicker you act on getting back into the workforce, the easier your transition will be.
No need to feel overwhelmed! We can help… Contact SB Recruitment about getting back into work after a break, or for that role that needs to be filled while someone is away on leave. We can help!