Getting back into work from short or long-term time off

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​After time off work it can sometimes be a challenge getting back to into it. Not only can motivation be hard to come by, but also, adjusting to a new routine can seem somewhat unfamiliar and difficult.

There are multiple reasons for having time off including:

  • Maternity or paternity leave

  • An extended holiday break

  • Medical leave

  • Carers leave

  • Being made redundant

Whatever your reason, the challenge can be very similar!

You have to adjust your personal life (potentially with new circumstances for many), with a new work life.

Things to do before you find work

There are quite a few things that you can do to prepare for getting back into the job search journey. Here is our list of must-dos to help you get back on your feet for the job hunt.

  1. Update your resume (include transferable skills from your time off)

  2. Let your network know what roles you are looking for

  3. Update your LinkedIn and reach out to old connections and colleagues

  4. Apply for roles over several channels

  5. Conduct practice interviews with people you know

  6. Mentally prepare and develop a new routine prior to finding a job

What about after you get a job or if you’re going back to one you already had?

Get a clear understanding of your responsibilities and goals

One way to get back on the right track is to gain clarity. Reaffirm your job responsibilities and what might be expected from you with your manager. This can help you establish some work goals. You can also chat with your manager and/or team about company and department goals as this can help guide you in what to get started on and further goals you can set for yourself.

Start a new to-do list

The best way to organise your mind is to get your thoughts out onto a page! Start a new to-do list, even with the smallest items so that you feel some sense of organisation and clear direction.

Organise catch ups with people you will work with frequently

Reacquaint yourself or get to know people. This is good from a social aspect to feel part of the team and remind people you are back and how you can work with them. It’s also good for you to understand who to go to for certain items and how they can help you integrate back into work.

Plan your new work schedule/routine and try to stick to it

Having a routine can help us feel organised and prepared. When we stick to a routine as much as possible we can begin to adjust into a ‘new normal’ that we feel comfortable with. Once the routine is actioned enough times, maybe for a few weeks, it will become second nature and feel more manageable.

Plan your new home schedule too

By adding work into the mix, your home routine may change too. This could mean sitting down with your partner or family and discussing how things will change, and what extra help you might need at home. Additionally, you may need to rearrange a timetable of things for yourself, change your sleep schedule or pencil in time for your self-care. Whatever changes you need to make, it’s important to plan them and then implement them – again, trying to stick to them as much as possible to create habits for your new normal.

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