Tips on Returning to Work After a Long Break
The challenges to getting back into the workforce will differ from one person to the next depending on individual circumstances and motivation. These challenges can also be quite daunting if you have not planned well for a return to work.
Situations where returning to work may be difficult
Retirement. This does not mean that you are now totally unable to function. Work from home, online or work part-time so that if you decide to return full-time the adjustment is easier.
Parenthood. A mother of young children who has stopped working in order to take care of them until they start school will wisely plan her return long before she comes back. She can take on work that can be done from home to keep up with progress in the workplace, particularly with new technology. Updating your skills to cover a wider range of opportunities is recommended.
Health conditions. Workers who are laid off due to a health condition will have to make sure that they are fit for work again. To this end, recuperation should include regular physical tests as well as psychological tests to measure the ability to perform. Should the reason for the lay-off be due to an accident where time in a hospital is extensive, this time could be used to work online until the patient is fit enough to return to work.
Redundancy. The same goes for redundancy casualties. Continue to work part-time if you must and make sure you upskill while trying to get hired full-time. This keeps you current and it also avoids missed opportunities.
How to make it easier to get back into work
Upskill with the intention of covering a wide range of positions in various fields of work and not just your own field. This will not take away from any specialist skills you have.
Place yourself on various lists for part-time and sub-contracting work. Many people find an unexpected niche when working this way, in which they perform well, that they may otherwise not have discovered. Some even go on to be successful entrepreneurs.
Should an objection to your being hired be, that existing staff may object to rehiring you because you do not fit in or you have been away for too long, ask for a trial run. This gives staff the opportunity to get to know you so that they see what you can contribute to the company. Developing relationships helps to remove any perceived threat to their positions.
Be willing to work as hard as anyone else on the team and make sure you do not come across as a dead wood.
There will always be those workers who are more territorial than others and who refuse to be won over. Simply keep trying because this type of person is usually looking for attention and approval. Give them what they want and soon they will become more cooperative.
If circumstances have forced you to return to work reluctantly, keep in mind that embracing the challenges and not allowing them to intimidate you, makes it easier to adjust to changes. If you had a senior position before, be prepared to start again at a lower level. Be prepared to overcome the hurdle of being overqualified in the position for which you have applied, by listing the advantages you bring to the position when they employ you. In other words, show what you can bring to the table.
Remember you can become invaluable to the business by volunteering to do tasks others are unwilling to take on, without appearing to ingratiate yourself in any way.
Keep an eye out for our next blog in two weeks which is about the advantages of working abroad. We have also discussed topics such as how you can overcome anxiety when you start a new job.
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