Posted October 01, 2014 by

11 Tips for Rejoining the Workforce After a Career Break

Heather Dugan

Heather Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer

First of all, congratulations on the new job! Whether you were unemployed and searching for something new, or you took time off to raise kids or take care of loved ones, welcome back to the workforce.

But at the same time, it’s understandable that you’re a little leery about transitioning back to the working world after a prolonged absence. Will people like me? What have I missed? Is the technology different? Can I really meet these new challenges in unfamiliar territory?

Before you start your new chapter, take a minute to read about a few tips for getting back in the flow without breaking stride.

11. Prepare Ahead of Time

Getting up nightly at 3 a.m. was irresistible when you were scouring job postings, filtering through contacts, and tweaking your resume, but so was sleeping in until 9 a.m. when your first interview of the day landed after lunch.

These nights preceding your start date will be better spent reestablishing the biological rhythms of your newly employed lifestyle. Cut the caffeine and/or alcohol, late night TV and Internet surfing, set your morning alarm, and replicate next week’s schedule.

Advance adjustments will set you up for better rest and all the mental and physical benefits that accompany a regular seven to eight hours of sleep.

10. Adjust Your Diet

Yup, you read that right. You need to recognize maintaining a 9-5 focus after a period of unemployment will be an exertion and adjustment — even in the food department. So ease the back-to-work transition by planning ahead.

Make a grocery run to stock up on quick, healthy breakfast options such as oatmeal, Greek yogurt and fruit. And maybe grab some apples, almonds or protein bars to bridge any gaps between your lunch break and the end of the day.

You’re coming in with a clean record; don’t leave yourself vulnerable to sugar buzzing, habit-forming, breakroom donuts that will carry you no further than that last temp position did.

9. Get Your Body Ready

Your first month may impinge on longstanding healthy habits such as gym workouts and running, walking or cycling. You’ll eventually fit it all together again, but anticipate a few misses in the first few weeks.

Launch yourself at peak condition for the challenges ahead by being especially faithful with fitness in your last unattached days. Don’t overdo to the point of uncomfortable muscle soreness, but aim to be your prime physical self as you go into this new endeavor. Think through workarounds for the nights your regular regimen proves impossible. Incorporate stress relief, a metabolic boost, and life enhancing endorphins via exercise to ease your potentially taxing transition time.

8. Take Care of Unrelated Chores Ahead of Time

In another week or two you’ll be fully focused on excelling in your new position, with less time than you’re used to for errands and everyday tasks like car maintenance, bill paying, gift shopping and home repairs.

Are there any upcoming tasks you can do ahead of time? Your happily employed self will disdain the laziness of unemployed You if unnecessarily loaded with time consuming household duties the first week back on the job. She’ll wish she could relax a little after such a long day at work and may be annoyed by the dirty windows she no longer has time to clean.

Continue reading . . .

Article by Heather Dugan and courtesy of Salary.com

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