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12 Excellent Tips For Women Returnees From A Career Break, On How To Ease Your Way Back

Women who have taken a break in their career for any reason sometimes aren't sure what to do to get back into their groove. Here's help.

I recently was at a speed mentoring session put together by @jobsforher and @herising. One of the key topics of discussion was around returnee women and the various questions they had around getting back to their careers.

I myself had a taken a break for a short period and the most important thing that I valued when I was looking to get back was my network.

While thinking about this topic, I put together 10 things women returnees could benefit from when considering getting back to their jobs.

One

Don’t drop your network, it could be with other working women to working mom’s or any other network that is relevant to you during your break. Focus on quality of the network rather than quantity. I have always relied on my network and my network has relied on me and that is how I have built my career.

Two

Ask for help where required, have the conversation with your boss before you leave, you can include a back to work plan in that conversation.

Three

If you are not ready to get back, don’t, but if you are, then asked if they have a phased return model like a few hours to start with or a few days – that provides clarity for both parties.

Four

Ensure that you have had the conversation at home……do yourself a favour and don’t feel guilty about not being at home. Invest in getting back up at home, trust me it’s worth it and that’s the best investment you can make in yourself.

Five

Keep your skills updated – this is especially if you are into skills that need updating regularly be it IT skills, keeping up with legal updates, upgrading your digital marketing skills or being abreast of the labor laws in the country, invest some time in reading during your break, keep in touch with relevant people who will be able to update you on the changes in the requirement of the job you are planning to get back to.

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Six

Invest in your health, both physical and mental, keep track of your emotions and get help when and if required.

Seven

Stop doubting your capability to get back to work. Statistically 15% of the returning women feel that their capability is not enough and about 25% feel they are not skilled enough, so don’t contribute to these stats.

Eight

If you feel that you must switch careers or organisations and also give you outstanding flexibility, then don’t hesitate to choose that or change your path.

Nine

Stop comparing your journey with the others (especially on social media).

Ten

Don’t expect others to understand your situation 100%. If you feel, they don’t understand, you can choose to explain or go about doing your job. You have lots on your hand, so do what you got to do.

Eleven

Keep yourself updated on organisations with a strong returnee policy and are known to respect your need for a break.

One of the questions was – Is it was ok to compromise on the salary when you are getting back to work?

Why? Why is your value lower than what it would have been before you took a break?

So my answer is ‘no’, and organisations that follow this should re-look at their policy that shows this bias. Taking a break is out of a necessity and does not in any way bring down the value of a person.

Twelve

Look for a mentor who can guide you back to work and is also able to coach you on shaping your career after the break.

Remember that ‘Its ok to take a break’.

Published here first.

Image source: a still from the film Listen, Amaya!

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