Returning to work after a long period of time can be difficult. It can take a lot of re-adjustment as you familiarise yourself with something that you used to do on a daily basis. Those returning to the same workplace may find it challenging to settle back into the team and are likely to have to spend some time adapting to any changes that might have taken place in their absence. Many also fear that their role will no longer be needed or that someone else has taken their place.

Have you had a long break from work?

Have you had a long break from work?

Whether you’ve been away on maternity leave, absent due to sickness or have taken a few months out to travel the world, worrying about finding success again in the workplace can be a concern that many have. When the workplace is constantly changing, attending interviews for the first time in a few years or asking for a job back can feel overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are steps that those returning to work after a hiatus can take to make the experience less daunting. Ben Edwards, a self-confidence expert and relationship coach, has experience working with businesses and clients over issues such as this. He has offered some expert tips for returning to work successfully.

Don’t just jump back into something

When you reach the point where you want to return to work, it can be tempting to jump into something just so you can say you have a job again, or because it seems like something you have to do immediately. However, it’s essential that you really think about what your next job will be to avoid only being somewhere for a short time. If you left one industry for a reason or your passion for it has wavered while being on hiatus, think about how beneficial it would be to return to the same role, or if there is something else you can do.

Understand your circumstances will have changed

If you’ve been out of work on maternity leave, for example, then the things you need to consider when you go back to work will be different to the priorities you had when you first joined the workforce. These are things that you might have to negotiate with your old employer, don’t be afraid to make it clear that you aren’t in the same position that you were when you left. Similarly, if you’ve been away travelling, what you want out of work might have changed or you might have found something else that interests you and it’s okay to adapt your job searching to that.

Stay in the loop

Something many people are faced with when they return to work is having to catch up with any changes in their workplace that they didn’t even know had happened. This can make the first few weeks challenging, as rather than spending time getting reacquainted with the role and getting the work done, time has to be spent catching up with any changes, whether those be technological ones or just alterations to how the company does things. Stay in the loop by following the company on social media or contacting colleagues close to the time of your return. Businesses are increasingly implementing days for those on maternity leave to come into the office once a week before they return to ease the settling-in process.

Research the job application process

If you’ve been employed for a number of years, the days of writing a CV and attending interviews are likely to feel unfamiliar. A lot of things might have changed since you last wrote a CV, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be just as successful as you were before. Research current interview tips and popular questions to familiarise yourself with what to expect or download a CV template from a relevant recruitment website. The words that employers are looking out for in applications are always changing, doing your research and making sure you’re up to date will be hugely beneficial when it comes to having to re-immerse yourself in the world of work.

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