Finding the Motivation to Go Back to Work


There are many reasons for taking some time out of the workforce: maternity leave; becoming a stay-at-home parent; taking care of a sick relative; going back to school … even living off that lottery win as long as you can.

There are also a lot of good reasons to go back. A paycheck for one. Outside contact and personal fulfillment are others. But the process can be intimidating. Breaking out of the inertia of a long absence from work can prove daunting.

Here are a few steps you can take to help ease back into the workforce:

Make a Plan

Any break in a day-to-day routine can cause distress, and a return to the working world can come with additional anxieties. The process can seem overwhelming. So as a first step, break down what needs to get done and lay out a step-by-step plan to get back into the workforce.

Start with baby steps. List things like “update resume” or “contact references.” These may seem simple, but that’s the point. The small things are much more manageable to digest than an intimidating to-do-list line item like “get a job.”

Do Some Research

If you’ve been out of the market even a few years, it’s important to get up-to-date on the current best practices. Things like finding jobs through Twitter and LinkedIn, interviewing with video calls and operating new research tools like Glassdoor can seem disconcerting if you’re just becoming familiar with them now.

Luckily, even though technology can drive dizzying changes and make even a short work absence seem like a Back to the Future experience, you can use that technology to get back in the swing. Use all the online tools you can find to learn about the current job market. Meanwhile, set up or update profiles on social media.

The more you learn, the more comfortable it will feel when you’re ready to get started.

Tell People You’re Ready to Work

Think of it as a heist movie. The ringleader gathers together the team of specialists to pull off the big job. It’s time to get the crew back together.

By activating your network, you open yourself up to unexpected opportunities. Meanwhile, talking to people about re-entering the workforce can act as a motivator. Now, it’s not just an idea in your head. It’s out there in the world.

Join a Professional Organization

Engaging with your old network can help jump-start the process of looking for work. Extending that network increases your chances of finding opportunity.

As you look to re-enter the workforce, get involved in some professional organizations. You can use your new contacts to do research on current business practices. They can also help you figure out reasonable expectations for your renewed career ambitions.

It may also lead to the right opportunity to slip back into the industry.

Ease in With Part-Time or Temp Positions

You don’t need to jump right all the way in with a full-time gig. If you’re nervous about re-entering the workforce, start with some temporary or part-time positions.

These will help bolster your confidence and fill in your resume. The positions will also build your skill base and shake off the rust before heading to something more permanent.

Working with an industry-leading staffing firm can fast-track this process. DHR can get you back to work quickly, in positions that will fit into your new long-term career plan. Contact them today to find out more.

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