7 Things To Do Before You Rejoin The Workforce


25 February 2021

Things to do before you rejoin the workforce

1. Explicitly seek the support of your family: Don't assume they know

So you have decided to work from home. But you want to get your family on your side before you start. That is a wise decision. Enlisting the support of the family for re-starting is crucial to your success in re-starting “work”.

Explicitly seek the support of the family. Tell them explicitly if you are missing an element of challenge and an element of independence or a sense of purpose. This is something others in the family cannot easily perceive unless you tell them.   

2. Everyone wants to be engaged, don't be shy

It is natural. Do not feel as if you are wanting something extra. One of the most powerful reasons why mothers return to work is the universal need to be engaged in meaningful work on a regular basis. Apart from an identity as a mother and homemaker many want to utilize their talents and feel engaged on a regular basis. This is natural. Speak about how you felt when you were working, about your sense of identity, purpose and independence. Don’t assume that other family members will know how you feel.

3. Getting the timing right: Wait for the right time

When you are coming back to the workforce “returning mothers” it is critical to get the time right. Since you have to manage a family as well as work responsibilities, and if you are not able to manage both it is likely that you will be tempted to give up the work opportunity. However, one common mistake people make is not timing it right.

Any new work, part-time or full time will need some extra effort in the beginning. Make sure you have created time for some extra effort in the beginning. Get someone to help you at home, or finish any major tasks that require your time. Find a slot, in which you can put in extra effort and get accustomed to the new work environment. This is key to settling down. Sometimes taking the first option that comes along results in committing and then you can stop altogether.

4. Ask yourself how much time you have to spare: Don't over-commit

Most of the returning mothers are highly educated. They miss the sense of achievement and purpose in their work roles, not just the extra income. Sometimes they want to go back to work with such intensity that they end up over-committing and then they stop altogether. Be cautious and evaluate if there are options that will let you ramp up gradually, maybe a part-time role, or an assignment to test the waters.

5. Time is your most precious asset  

When you calculate the time you are devoting, calculate the time including the time spent in commute and travel. Check how much travel the job requires and how frequently is out of city travel required. Feel free to ask these questions. Organisations nowadays realize that getting the right gender balance is good for growth and will go out of the way to accommodate your needs. Be clear on the total time you are committing.

6. See what others are doing: Evaluate all options

Be clear about what your primary motive is. Write is down. How important is the balance? How important is money? How important is a sense of challenge and feeling a part of a community? Write these down. It will help you evaluate the opportunities. Be sure to look around and see what others are doing. Here are a few websites that can help you search and make a shortlist of opportunities. Ask to speak to someone in the roles you are considering. They will give you both sides of the story. Write down the positives and negatives, writing them down will help you focus and make up your mind.    

7. Finding the balance

The majority of the women who rejoin work are “returning mothers”. They are predominantly well educated. They now want to re-enter the workforce but want to find the right balance between taking care of their family and coming back to an active work opportunity. If you also feel so, make it explicit. Ask yourself the question, would this role help you find the right balance. List reasons for and against. Discuss them with friends who have just returned to the workforce.

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