Gearing yourself up for going back to work

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If you’ve been out of the workplace for a long period of time, going back to work can be a daunting prospect. Perhaps you’ve raised a family or have been looking after a dependent family member. You might be a mom, a daughter, a sister or a friend, or even all of the above. But when it comes to going back to work, set some time apart to help find the real you too. You’re still well able to do everything you did before taking a break from your career, it just takes time to find that person again.

Meet up with former colleagues

Whether they have taken career breaks too, or they’ve kept going in the field they chose, by arranging a reunion and chatting about what’s happening in the industry you’re hoping to return to, it can help you feel more confident in your abilities and remind you of the skills you still have.

Attend career workshops or a guidance counsellor

Perhaps the job you had in your previous life doesn’t suit you anymore. Instead, seek guidance from a career counsellor who can help hone in on what skills you have and what you’re hoping to achieve from going back to work. They can help you decide what type of job you’re suitable for and what type of job will satisfy you in the long run.

Dig out your old CVs and any appraisal forms from the past

Looking through your old CVs, cover letters and any reviews your received in previous jobs can help remind you about all the skills you possess but might have forgotten you have.

Attend networking events

If you want to return to an old field of work, or you’re venturing into a completely new one, networking with like minded people can help stimulate skills and interests you might have forgotten you even have. Go online and look up local networking events happening close by over the next few months and schedule them into your diary.

Acknowledge your new skills

Being at home with kids develops your people skills, your creative problem solving, your ability to multi-task, and your time management like no job you’ve ever had before. Find a way of adapting these skills to the ones you would need in a workplace and practice selling them in preparation for any interviews you might get called for.

Decide what it is you want

If you don’t want to go back full time, or you need a job that’s completely flexible, ensure you have a wishlist before applying for jobs so that you can make decisions early if a possible job is for you or not. Going back to work should be enjoyable and not too stressful so starting out as you mean to go on should be high on your to do list.