“Don’t know how to kickstart your Return to Work after a Career Break?”
Considerations on Role and Type of Work that fits your Career Goals –
In part one of this blog, we looked at a number of factors to consider from a personal and family perspective when returning to work. I explored how to prepare for a successful return to work from the perspective of work-life integration and the benefits of preparing all relevant players for the change a return to work can bring on both you and your family.
In this section, we will look at what factors to consider and steps you can take in relation the type of job you will return to, the hours you will work and the longer term career potential of your future role.
- Number 1 on my list is that Preparation and Clarity are key in preparing for your career return. The more specific and focused you can be about your return to work, the better your outcome will be
- A good starting place is to ask yourself “what are my reasons for returning to work?” be honest with yourself as this question sets the foundation for the kind of job you will be looking for along with the number of hours you will work. For example, if your main motivation in returning to work is financial, you will then have very specific ambitions in terms of the level of job you want and the associated hours you will need to work. On the other hand, if your motivations are for social reasons or to alleviate boredom (less financial) you may be less focused on the area you work in an more interested in finding a position with high levels of social interaction.
- Explore your strengths, your interests and your skills. When we work to our strengths, using our natural skillset within an interesting environment – work feels less like work and we will feel more motivated in what we do!
- How do you like to work? Are you more inclined to working alone and find you achieve better results as an individual contributor? or do you find you are at your best as part of a team, by asking yourself these questions in advance you will be refining your career options and focusing in on suitable roles
- Write down your top 5 values as you see them. What is important to you as you go through life. In any role you are considering, evaluate it in the context of your personal value system. We increase the likelihood of a successful return to work and subsequent career if our work is congruent with our value system.
- Consider your longer term career aspirations also – do you want career progression – will you be happy in this role for 1, 3, 5 years?. Evaluate every potential role with this in mind
- Know your limits in terms of distances you are prepared to commute and hours you are prepared to work. I often find that clients become so caught up in the excitement of receiving a job offer, that they can overlook such factors
- Write down your non-negotiables. This follows on from knowing your limits, ask yourself “What are the key things that would make me walk away from this role?” For some it will be job content, for others it will be the financial package – whilst for others it will be the type of organisation. My advice is to make a list before you consider what roles to apply for and frequently check in against it to make sure you are on track
My final piece of advice, is to evaluate each role on its own merits in the cold light of day! Refer to your non-negotiable and limits list and ask yourself the following:
“Will I be happy doing this job in 12 months’ time, on a wet Monday morning?” and
“Will this new job fit in with my family situation and fulfill my reasons for wanting to return to work”
If your answer is ‘Yes’, you are well on your way to having a successful return to your career!