“Don’t know how to kickstart your Return to Work after a Career Break?”

Part One

It is hard to know where and how to go about re-engaging with the world of work, having been on career break or extended maternity leave. I frequently hear “I just wouldn’t know where to begin” …. “I really don’t know what I am good at anymore” “ I don’t feel confident enough to go back to the job or senior position I held before”..

If any of this sounds familiar, read on – you are not alone.

Today I will discuss the key pointers from a personal / family perspective to ensure that your career return is a successful one. In part two of this blog, I will discuss how to optimise your successful return to work from a job type, job role and career perspective

Firstly, an important point to remember is any feelings of insecurity or low confidence are completely normal and this is hands down, the first thing mentioned by the women I work with. What a relief to know that!

Secondly, these feelings are very temporary, they last such a short time and I find once you have made the decision to return to the workforce, you are already making progress and achieving your goals and this will feed your confidence and boost your resolve.

Tips for your successful return:

  • Have a creative and inspiring career plan. Treat this as an opportunity to explore new roles, careers in line with your values and passions and your current family situation
  • Keep it real – be realistic about the type of role and working hours that will suit your situation. This is very important from a work-life integration perspective
  • Fit – how will this new role fit in with your current commitments ? If you have small children with lots of after school activities or care for a dependent relative, figure out what type of support you will need to ensure a successful return.
  • Be practical, ask questions like “who will need to be available for daily routines, who will need to be available in the event of emergencies etc”
  • Have the difficult conversations with your partner / family members in advance. This is often overlooked by returners and can be a source of conflict when the pressure is on. Life is rarely 100% smooth! by figuring out in advance and getting buy in on who is responsible for what, everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities and has clarity on their part
  • Consider what this change will mean to you and your family. By taking the time to understand that change is a process and doesn’t always run smoothly, you will be prepared for the inevitable hiccups and speed bumps a return to work will bring.
  • Discuss with kids / partners / family members in advance what a new job will mean for you and for them, this way you can create enthusiasm and prepare for change to routines in advance
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – this may sound clichéd, however it is true. Often after an extended career break, women will worry about how ‘stuff will get done’ – all I can say is that it does get done, by taking the above actions in advance and preparing yourself psychologically for your return and your family, you increase your successful return exponentially.



In Part 2 of this blog I will discuss how to optimise your successful return to work from a job type, job role and career perspective

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