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Returning to Work? Don't panic!

You are about to start a new job after a career break and, like most of us, you are probably dealing with a mix of excitement, anticipation, worry, fear and the prospect of regular adult conversation.

But after a few years out of the workplace, how are you going to cope?

Don’t worry, you will settle in to the role quicker than you think and pretty soon you will wonder what all the concern was about, but to help you out here are some quick tips to help you through the first few weeks in your new job.

1. Crying is not a bad thing. You may find it hard being away from your kids for the first time. They will be settling in to nursery/school at the same you are settling in to your new role so the first few days will feel a little unsettled, everyone will get tired and you may even feel so guilty that you have a little cry in the car.

How do we know this?

Because we've done it too, as have so many parents returning to work, but we got through it and so will you. Cry it out, let the emotion go and then remind yourself why you decided to Return to Work.

2. Ask lots of questions – it’s how you learn, and if you want to learn quickly, then ask lots of questions. Everything from “how do I dial an outside line?” to “how does the coffee machine work?”.

Just make sure you remember the answers – you don’t want to be asking the same question more than once.

3. Be a sponge! Absorb everything you can! The way people answer the phone through to the vibe and energy in the office. Learn as much as you can simply by being there and then reflect on what you have learnt.

4. Contribute! Don’t be afraid to speak up in meetings or voice ideas to colleagues. More often than not, you are the ‘fresh set of eyes’ so may able to come up with ideas and solutions that no one else has thought of.

5. If you find yourself with a free moment, which can often happen in the first week, offer to help one of your new colleagues. By doing this, you will foster and build relationships faster.

6. Update your LinkedIn profile and connect with new colleagues and take the opportunity to re-connect with ex-colleagues to rebuild and strengthen your network as well as saying, “I’m back!”

7. Don’t compare your new company to any of your old ones. You have moved on to a different stage of your life, so embrace the new role and company and enjoy it for what it is – your next step.

Let's not pretend Returning to Work is easy - you will find parts of it difficult, the first month and then at the end of the honeymoon period in particular, but give yourself time and space and you will work through it.

And don't forget, we provide new-job coaching, so sign-up or book in a coaching session and we can help make the transition that bit easier.

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