Getting back to work after a break could be exciting as well as overwhelming. If you do not plan the initial few months well, you might end up being in a mess.
I was on maternity leave for almost a year. Although I never planned to take such a long break but when you are a mother of twins, you can’t really plan everything.
Now after a year of being a full-time mommy, I am ready to get back to work. It’s not easy because you still find yourself ‘sailing on two boats’.
So, for smoothly transitioning back to work requires a bit a planning.
Here are 5 back to work tips for successfully returning to work:
But, here’s a disclaimer before you further read the post:
“These tips could be applicable mostly to those who are working for themselves like Freelancers, Independent consultants, etc. IF you are working for an organization, then you have to plan as per their schedule and work commitments.”
1. Do self-assessment while on career break
When you take a break for more than half a year, then it might happen that your motivation or inclination towards your existing career changes.
It might happen because you get enough time to introspect and evaluate your career path and figure out what are your ultimate goals.
This could be a great time to make a switch and try your hands in other profile that you might not have done otherwise.
2. Start Slow
You might want to take on lots of work in the beginning because of the immense excitement of working after a long time. But, it might end up being “over commitment and less deliver”.
So, all you need at this time of the year is to start SLOW!
If you remember the Newton’s first law – “Law of Inertia”, which states that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
This law applies in this situation as well.
You need time to get out of inertia of rest to start working on several projects simultaneously. It betters to start working 4 hours a day for few weeks and then increase it gradually.
3. Contact existing clients first
At the beginning when you still in the process of creating your work schedules and plans, it’s always advisable to start working with your old clients first.
You have a sense of comfort with your existing clients. So It will not take too much of your time in understanding their style of work and expectations.
Working with a new client requires lots of extra time to create an understanding and repo.
So, It is wise to concentrate on old clients rather than new ones for initial few weeks.
Concentrating more on existing clients when you are working while traveling or when you have limited time, it’s always a wise thing to do.
4. Be transparent about the schedule
Whatever you decide, keep your clients informed.
Be vocal about your work schedule to avoid any unrealistic expectations by your client. Not only that, it also deepens the relationship with your clients.
For example, let them know if you are going to work only 3-4 hours day, or you would be available for work only at the particular hours of the day.
5. Reiterate the working terms
And last but least, recap the working terms even if it is same as before.
Your client must be busy during all these time or they might be working temporarily with some other executives so they might not remember your hourly rate, invoicing method etc.
Before you begin working, send a formal email with the all the terms and condition to make sure you both are on the same page.
It is very important to avoid any dispute in future.
When you are ready to get back to work after a career break, all you need to do it plan before you start. If you start abruptly, you will end up being in the mess!