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The Returners A-Z: Fear of Returning to Work

Fear is a funny thing. It can motivate us to do incredible things or have us rooted to the spot, unable to move.

And when Returning to Work, there can be a lot to be fearful of.

  • Will anyone want to hire me?

  • Will I be able to do the job?

  • Will I be liked?

  • Will I get fired because I asked for flexibility?

  • Will I get found out?

  • Will my kids still love me as I’m spending less time at home?

Man standing on balcony edge looking down on city

The list could go on and on, but the purpose of this article isn’t to create a longer list of things you’re worried or fearful of. It is to give you some ideas of how to get past those fears and move to a more positive space.

So here are out top tips to help you work through your Return to Work fears.

1. Identify the fear. What is it that is actually causing you to worry? 1 or 2 fears can often cause us to worry about lots of other things. So if you can identify those fears and tackle them head on, everything else will become much easier.

2. Break it down into manageable chunks. If you can’t identify the root cause, then break your worries down into bite-size pieces. Write down each individual worry or fear and then tackle them one at a time. This alone will make a big difference and will help you understand what that primary fear is, enabling you to deal with it.

3. Use positive re-enforcement tools such as the Confidence Journal or Affirmations to help you move past your fear. Remember - the real power in these tools is being consistent.

Don't panic written on cardboard toilet role tube.

4. Use your support network. Remember that these aren’t necessarily your close friends or family, but people that are going to help and motivate you even through the difficult times. It can be anyone, including us. All you have to do is talk to them and let those people know you need their help and support.

5. Speak to companies. You should know that some of these fears will only be eased by speaking to employers. At the job interview, ask questions about the organisation’s flexible working policies, and if there is anyone else in the team that works flexibly, for example. Interviews are a tow-way street and the interviewer is expecting you to ask questions about what it is like to work there.

6. Acknowledge that some fears will take a while to fade, and are normal whether you have had a career break or not. Imposter syndrome, for example, affects many people and can impact you whether you’re working or not. Again - being consistent is key.

Remember that you are not alone. There are people that are going through what you’re going through, and there are people who have been through it and are now enjoying a successful career and a fulfilling family life.

If you think you would like more support or advice to help with your worries and fears, then please get in touch or click the link below.

Join The Returners Tribe Today!

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