There was a huge amount of excellent advice on the Returner Panel on Navigating your Return to Work at our 2021 Women Returners Conference. Chaired by Trish Halpin, Co-host of Postcards from Midlife, the panel included four inspiring women who have successfully returned to work after career breaks of up to 15 years. Two had returned via a returnship, one via a supported hiring role, one via her own networks.
Here’s a summary of some of their fantastic tips, based on their personal experiences, for other women professionals wanting to successfully navigate a return to work:
- Look at a returner programme as a journey – it doesn’t need to end where it starts. Just take the first step and then think about it as one step at a time
- You don’t need to feel grateful when you get a job. Remember you have skills and experience that your employer wants.
- Be open to new areas where you can use transferable skills – your career break can be an opportunity to diversify
- Keep a diary of how you feel and the decisions you make at each stage – it’s amazing to read back later
- Don’t keep looking back and comparing where you were before, as this can hamper you. Embrace the new opportunity with positivity
- Think about what you’re not going to do when you go back to work – ask for help and delegate. Don’t take on everything, you need to make time for work and life!
- Don’t let impostor syndrome set in. Everyone gets it at some point, no matter how high up the ladder
- Find people to cheer you on
- Positively approach new technology and virtual working. It can be daunting but it also can take some of the pressures away
- You will get back up to speed much quicker than you think!
For more inspiration from returners who have returned, read our Success Stories here.