For so many women, the work/ life balance conundrum, tends to rear its ugly head just when things are starting to go well. You have built your network, established your reputation and begun to make the strides you had always hoped for when… boom. You have a baby! Or make a move! And suddenly the path on which you find yourself is not what you envisioned. After hitting the pause button, you may find yourself wondering how your work wardrobe transformed into workout gear, or mulling over the things that could have been instead of what could be…But if these questions continue to linger it may be time to get back into the game. Here are 5 tips on how to do it…
Find your confidence. One of the biggest hurdles in going back to work is self-doubt. Too often we find excuses as to why something “won’t work” without giving it a chance. Think about times since you have been out of the workforce when you have attempted something new and succeeded. Review your resume and remind yourself of past achievements. Half the battle is getting yourself back into the mindset that you can actually do it.
Reframe your skillset. Updating a resume or preparing for an interview can seem like an overwhelmingly daunting task after being out of the workforce for a while. But just because you have taken a break from the career you once knew, does not mean that your skill set and perspective has not evolved. Consider your time out of the workforce a “gap year(s)”. What have you gained from this experience? How has your focus changed? Ask yourself specific questions to hone in on new skills that you have developed during this time.
Tap into your old network. Scheduling a call or a coffee date with an old colleague is a perfect way to begin to feel reconnected. Use informal meetings to update yourself on market trends and to gather information. The more informal meetings you have, the more confident you will be when the time comes to interview with a potential employer.
Create a new one. It is important to maintain old contacts, but it is just as important to add new ones. When thinking about returning to work, seek out others whose life reflects the same stage you are in. Discuss their keys to success and develop a network that will be relatable to your current life challenges.
Stay focused. There are so many things which compete for your time, but stay focused. If your Pinterest boards are expanding at a rapid pace, this may be a sign that you are not spending time where you need to. Outline near term goals and execute upon them. This can be as simple as adding three new bullets to your resume or sending an email regarding a new introduction. You will create momentum by checking tasks off your list.
Need further inspiration read this: An Auto Engineer Returns to Work After 24 Years Raising Children; The Wall Street Journal