The reason for taking a break may be to start a family or look after a relative with a serious health condition. Or it could be that you have been made redundant or are taking a sabbatical to consider your options for the future.
Whatever the initial reason for taking a break there usually comes a point when it becomes necessary to consider returning to work, if not back to the same job then certainly back to work in some capacity.
It could be that the financial implications of living on a reduced income are no longer an option, ill health issues have been resolved or maybe the offer of an opportunity that’s too good to turn down comes along. Returning to work is a necessity for most of us.
Regardless of the reason, managing the logistics of combining a career and family life whilst running a household, organising childcare, medical appointments et al may come as second nature for some.
But for others the thought of returning to work after a protracted period can be a daunting prospect.
A sense of being overwhelmed kicks in before they even start their first day back as they struggle to convince themselves that they’re up to the task. Such is their lack of belief in themselves, which is brought about by a chronic lack of confidence and self-esteem.
Returning To Work after Career Break – 4 Top Tips
Does this sound like you? Here are 4 things you can do to help prepare you for returning to work.
1. Have A Brutally Honest Conversation With Yourself
Identify exactly what it is that’s causing you to feel so insecure or overwhelmed, then write it down in detail.
Doing this helps you not only get to know yourself better but also improves your focus by realising what’s important in your life.
It helps you to see what’s holding you back more clearly and why and to understand that, even in the grips of stressful or overwhelming situations, we all have to make time to do something for ourselves every single day.
That could be going for a walk, reading or having a nice long soak in a bubble bath.
This is vital, if you don’t take time each and every day to validate and nurture yourself, how can you do the same for others whether it’s at home, work or anywhere else? You wouldn’t expect a car to run on empty so why would you think you can?You wouldn’t expect a car to run on empty so why would you think you can?Click To Tweet
2. Give Yourself A Break And Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Definitely stop trying to live up to others’ expectations.
As Oscar Wilde once famously said ‘Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.’
Accept that, in being human, we are all of us flawed and that includes anyone who for whatever reason chooses to undermine your confidence with their opinions as to why or how you should live your life in a certain way.
Remember that the negative opinions others have about you says more about them than it does about you.
After all you were born to be real – not perfect – and for that matter so were they.
We all have exactly the same amount of time in any one day to do the things we both need and want to get done, so learn to prioritise and do as much as you can, as well as you can in the time that you have.
If something has to be left until tomorrow and you know with all your heart that you couldn’t have done anymore, cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission make it a priority for tomorrow because, again, you’re only human.Stop trying to live up to others’ expectations.Click To Tweet
3. Negative People Can Drain The Life Out Of You, If You Let Them.
Without a doubt, other people’s negativity will rub off onto you. They say we become the sum of the 5 people we spend most time with.
Therefore it makes sense to try and spend time with people who are positive by nature, driven and like-minded.
All relationships should help you, not hurt you.
If you feel as though you are being constantly undermined, belittled and disregarded then for your own sense of self-worth and the sake of improving your confidence, make a decision to start surrounding yourself with people who reflect the type of person you aspire to be.
Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who you love and respect (and they you), people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.
Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be you and being you is the only way to truly live.When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be you Click To Tweet
4. Stop Allowing Yourself to Be Paralyzed By Fear
Fear is nothing more than an emotion which links our current and future realities.
In order to free yourself from the grip that fear has over you and your life, think about it like this:
The fear of failure often appears in synergy with the fear of making mistakes and yet the word itself – failure – is so much more powerful than ‘mistake’.
Why? Stigma. The fear of being defined by others as being a failure is largely what prevents us from even trying to achieve something in the first place, simply because we care about what our loved ones, peers and colleagues think of us.
What we lose sight of is that if it takes us longer and down more avenues than we expected to get there, it doesn’t mean that we are failing in any way.
If anything it proves the opposite, that we are persistent and determined enough to get to achieve what we set out to do. This is a very successful trait to have. It will take you to the golden egg you are seeking as long as you believe in yourself.
When it comes down to making significant life changes, such as returning to work after maternity, a long period or any other situation which causes you to doubt yourself, your ability or what you are capable of achieving, I urge you to bear this in mind:
- There isn’t anything you cannot do, say or become when you choose to make it happen.
- Not your age, gender or education. Nothing. When you think you’ve gone as far as you can go, go on.
- When you think you know it all, learn something. When you think you’re done growing, grow some more.
- Never forget, regardless of the situation, YOU are the one who has the key to and control over your mind.
You alone have the power to create the life you desire. It doesn’t matter how you piece together the jigsaw that is your life, only that you do so in a way which sees you happy, healthy and whole.
Relax because it’s enough!There isn’t anything you cannot do, say or become when you choose to make it happen. Click To Tweet
Over to you
What are your experiences of returning to work after career break or starting a new career after a career break? You can leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
With 15 years’ experience in Education and Mental Ill Health Awareness, Sue is passionate about life and living it to its fullest and through her speaking engagements, workshops and seminars; she shows others how to do the same by helping people to facilitate lifelong sustainable change in themselves.