Friday, 15 April 2016

Taking control of your return to work


Some of the women on career break we meet at our workshops or who write to us for advice believe they have little hope of returning to work. They express this in the following ways:

"employers are only looking for young people these days"
"there are no opportunities for [my job function] anymore"
"no employers are interested in people with a CV gap"
"the only jobs are in the cities and I live in the country"


If any of these comments sound familiar, you may think that you're just stating the truth - that the employment environment is closed to you and that nothing you can do will change this. 

However, thinking this way can mean that you give up control - you make yourself powerless. If you believe that there's no likelihood of success, you have little motivation to even explore how you might get back to work .. so, of course, you're very unlikely to make it happen.  

How to regain control

  • Be aware of what you're telling yourself. Are you are making generalised, 'black-and-white' statements about the employment environment (using words like 'only' and 'no' is a good clue)? If so, you can start to challenge your thinking: e.g. are ALL employers ONLY looking for young people?
  • Consider what is within your control. What realistic options do you have open to you for returning to work? This could include investigating work-from-home ideas, looking for local options, exploring relevant returnships and other returner programmes, developing your network, retraining in a new field.
  • Start taking action. Through taking action such as talking to former colleagues, re-joining a professional association or attending information events about a possible new field you will gain knowledge, potential contacts and, most importantly, a sense that you are in charge again.

For further reading:
Too few choices: advice on identifying post break options
Are 'shoulds' ruling your return to work decisions?
How to make time for your return to work job search
How to return to work after a long career break
Is it possible to return to work at 50+ after a career break?



Posted by Katerina

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