Is Returning to Work one of your 2019 Resolutions?
How do you make sure you don’t let this fall by the wayside like New Year resolutions tend to do? Shift your thinking to make Returning to Work a goal, with a clear, specific and motivating personal action plan. Here are some of our suggestions on actions to include.
Action Steps to Get Back to Work
1. Clarify what you want from work
Start by considering what your motivations are for returning to work. Do you need, or want, to earn your own money? Are you looking for the status a professional job brings? Do you want to be a role model for your children? Returning to work after a career break is a great opportunity to think about what you really
want to do, so consider what kind of working life and job you would find most fulfilling and enjoyable. Think about what you most enjoyed about past roles and whether or not you need flexibility
. You may prefer a corporate employed role, to work as a freelancer
or to set up your own business
Identifying your strengths
can help you decide which career direction to take. And read our tips if you feel you have too many
return-to-work options or too few
. Don’t over-analyse at this stage – the ‘what shall I do with my life?’ career questions can rarely be solved just by brain-power. Move to action using a Test and Learn approach
2. Fill the gaps in your work experience/skillset
Once you’re clearer on the broad direction you want to take, it’s time to identify any gaps in your experience and any new skills you will need. Get up to date with your old industry, or learn about a new one, by taking professional courses through industry associations, attending conferences, seminars or webinars, signing up to relevant newsletters and meeting up with ex-colleagues. Find courses locally through Floodlight and look at the free online MOOCs (Massive Online Courses). If you’re worried about your IT skills being out of date, take a course before you get back to work. Strategic volunteering can build your skills and experience and may even provide a route back to work.
3. Craft your return-to-work story
Talking about your career break and how it fits into your professional story can be tricky. Use our ‘Career Break Sandwich’ method so that you don’t fall into the trap of focusing solely on your career break (and neglecting your professional background) in response to the classic questions “what do you do?” or “tell me about your background?”.
4. Rebuild your work confidence
A loss of professional confidence can be a key factor in preventing you from making a successful return to work. Don’t let this hamper you – read our blogs on Re-establishing Your Confidence and addressing the Confidence Gap.
5. Re-write your CV and develop your LinkedIn profile
If you’ve been out of the workplace for any length of time it’s likely to be many years since you last wrote your CV. We have lots of CV information in the Advice Hub
section of our website including How to Write Your Post-Break CV
and the use of Action Words
. A strong LinkedIn profile is also important – read our blog
on how to make the most of your profile.
6. Select potential routes back to work
7. Prepare for interviews
8. Maintain your motivation
Our motivation to achieve our goals inevitably fades after a while. Learn from psychology research about how to stay motivated longer-term.
9. Come along to our Women Returners 2019 Conference!
If you’d like a return to work boost, join us in London on 19 May. It’s a highly motivational day packed with return-to-work advice, support and inspiration and the opportunity to meet informally with employer sponsors and other like-minded women. The day will be relevant to you no matter where you are on your return-to-work journey. Find out more about our Conference here
and book your place at the Super Early Bird price of £80 (available until 27 January).
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You’ll find much more help and advice on our website.