After enjoying a long hiatus from work, you’re now counting the days to the day you’re returning to work. And your mind and heart might be racing because you’ve been out of the flow for quite some time or because you will no longer be spending all day at home with the family. Whether you’ve been on work pause for maternity leave or for other personal reasons, returning to work can be challenging and can sometimes even cause anxiety.
Don’t worry because we’re here to help you get ready. As this means a lot of changes, we’ll walk you through some important steps and tips to make the transition smoother and easier. Remember that there are two parties that need to get ready when you’re returning to work—you and your family. Ready? Here are some things you need to know to get ready for work life again.
1. You need to take it easy
The more you think about it, the more anxious you will feel. Instead of drowning in the thought of returning to work, why not spend the last few weeks or days relaxing and spending time with the family? Another option is to get into the groove of work by preparing your stuff such as your notebooks, folders, laptop, extra hard drive, and other things related to work. This can help you ease into the routine slowly but surely.
2. Get reacquainted with your industry
If you are returning to the same job and company, you should take some time getting reacquainted with your industry. Read the news to be updated on recent happenings so that when you go back to work, you won’t get confused about what everyone is talking about. Taking the time to reconnect with your old colleagues can also help because they can share what’s been going around in the company.
3. Work on your resume
This step is applicable if you are applying to a new job. You need to polish your resume, add some new skills you may have learned during your hiatus, or simply weed out information that no longer contributes to your overall presentation. You should also get ready to answer your interviewer’s question on why you took a hiatus. Remember to be honest but brief with your answer.
For the family
1. Make sure the kids understand what’s about to happen
Perhaps, it’s the children that you need to spend the most time explaining things to. This is because they’ve become used to seeing you every day in the house, and it can be difficult for them to understand why you suddenly have to go to work. Sadly, this can lead to separation anxiety, which is another totally different thing to manage.
To ease the kids’ anxiety, you can try to slowly explain to them every day by inserting the need to go to work in different situations. For example, if your toddler wants to drink her milk and asks you to get it from the fridge, you can ask her to do it by herself and gently insert the fact that in the coming weeks, you won’t be around to do this for her anymore when you return to work.
2. Get the children ready with a new nanny or babysitter
Your first day back at work shouldn’t be the day your kids meet the new nanny because that will be a problem. Children need to be familiar with someone they are going to be left with, which takes time. If you force them to get used to the situation on the first day, you’ll risk traumatising the kids, and it will become even harder to leave them with other people.
3. Set up a plan for managing the household
As a mum, the house and everything and everyone in it relies on you. Surely, it went super smooth with you around, but with you returning to work soon, things may change. However, you can still try to maintain it even with you working as long as you keep a system of managing things at home. For example, you can place a corkboard in the kitchen to remind you of what needs to be done and when they should be done. It’s also important to get the family onboard because, after all, they are part of the household. If the kids are too young, you can involve them by encouraging them to tidy up their own mess such as their toys, clothes, and biscuits. It may be tough during the first few weeks, but once you settle into the groove, it will become easy.
Returning to work can oftentimes be overwhelming but always believe that you are not alone in this journey. Welcome the assistance of some family members because that can truly lighten the burden.