If you’ve been out of work for an extended period, for whatever reason, you will be both excited and overwhelmed at the thought of returning to work. It is very common to have concerns, but how you deal with these concerns is the key to success.
Once you have taken the first step and have decided to return to the workforce, you will have a number of tasks to do. You will need to consider all of your options and research what jobs you are qualified for and interested in.
You might not feel confident that you have the skills required for a new job, but taking the time to look at yourself and what you can offer a potential employer could produce some surprising and pleasing results.
It’s important to remember that despite not getting paid to work, you will have undoubtedly been using all sorts of skills that you won’t have considered relevant. Are you computer literate? Can you use an internet browser? To begin with, this might be all you need.
There is no denying that many jobs now require the use of a computer. If you feel that your skills are outdated, it might be worth completing refresher courses and upgrading your computer skills. There are all sorts of beginner courses as well more advanced options and of course, there are also many jobs that don’t require the use of a computer at all.
Another concern is that you’re too old. However, employers make decisions based on other factors as well, and it is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant on the basis of age. All potential employers want the right person for the job. Use your age to your advantage by bringing the life experience and skills you have gained over the years into the job application process.
You need to think carefully about returning to work if you have family commitments. Is there somebody to fill your role if required? Can you hold down a job as well as care for your family? If the answer is ‘yes’, then there is nothing stopping you. It is all about advance planning and working together as a family.
Before you start thinking about returning to work, consider who will take on the role you have been performing during your career break. Perhaps you can share this with others. Many people hold down a full-time job, have children and a partner and manage a house. It's all a matter of planning and cooperation.
If you are returning to work after an illness, you might be concerned that you are not fit enough. The key here is to take things slowly. You may need to start on a new career if your illness has meant you need a lifestyle change. Take it slowly and as your health and confidence improve so will your ability to take on more work. Your health should be your number one priority, so do not take on too much too quickly.
Finally, you are the only person who can decide what you want. You need to think about what career you are interested in and whether it will fit in with your lifestyle. Do you want to work full or part-time? Office or outdoor based? Are you seeking a chance to progress within a company? Once you know what you want to do, you can begin working towards your goal and your new career.