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Returning to Work

Things happen, you have had a baby and have been on maternity or paternity leave, you or someone you care about may have had a long-term period of illness, or you may simply have made a life choice, but now – you have decided to go back to work. It can be very daunting, whatever the reason for you absence from the “working world”, suddenly you find yourself fretting about whether or not you will cope upon re-entering the “rat race”, but it needn’t be a traumatic experience at all – in fact, if handled right, it can be just the breath of fresh air you have been looking for allowing you to make new friends along the way.

Returning to work  Photographer: Andrew Taylor | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Deciding to return to work is just the start of the decision-making process. You could go back full time or part time, in paid, or voluntary work. You could re-train something new, or return to the same style of job you left, or maybe decide to give being your own boss a try. The choices are many and varied and there are many organisations available to help assist you with making the right choice for you and your family.

However it is important to remember the knock-on effects that a decision like this can mean to the lifestyle you have gotten used to. Make sure you talk to those around you, seek advice and support from family, friends and partners – remember this is something that will affect them too. Be sure to weigh up any existing commitments you currently have you may have to re-shuffle, or maybe even give up something to make your job fit into your lifestyle now. Work out a realistic estimate of how many hours you will be able to dedicate to your new job before you do anything else, it is easier by far to approach your boss and ask for more work, then to go and ask for less.

Some careers are more forgiving then others when it comes to periods of absence, for instance, if you worked in retail, had a break of a year or more and then went back, you wouldn’t find that much had changed with the possible exception of the lines the store sold – if though, your career had been something like IT, a period of absence will likely mean a lot of changes. This isn’t something to worry about though, as it will be easy enough for either you or your employer to arrange for you to get the required training to bring you back up to speed in no time – but it is useful to keep all these considerations in the back of your mind when making the choices on what you want to do.

If you aren’t afraid of a bit of hard work, and none of the jobs you look at seem to afford you the flexibility you want/need – maybe setting up your own business from home (or a serviced office, if you don’t have the space needed in your home) would be the best answer for you. If this is a route you consider, be sure to find yourself a reputable and helpful local accountant as end of year tax can be more then a little confusing to handle on your own and a clear business plan before you approach the banks with your ideas.

The most important thing to remember when going back to work, is to choose something that you will enjoy doing, even if the main motive for your return to work is to ease finances, if you enjoy your work, you will be happier and more productive making your home life and you, flourish alongside your new career.

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