You’ve been out of work for a long time and you find yourself needing a job. You’re unsure whether you’ve still got what it takes. You think your skills are outdated and you'll be unable to keep up. You feel like technology has moved on and left you behind. Does this sound like you? If so, then I wrote this post for you,
read on my friend and I’ll have you feeling like a million dollars and ready to take on the world in no time at all!
Reasons For A Return To Work
If you’ve been out of work a long time, maybe to raise a family, the thought of re-entering the workplace can be a pretty daunting prospect and for some perhaps, a very scary thought.
Maybe staying at home is no longer an option and you need to start contributing to the family finances. As your children grow older, they no longer need you as much and you may find yourself with more time on your hands than you’d like. Maybe your partner is suffering from ill health and you need to replace their income.
Whatever the reason, taking those first steps can be so overwhelming as to stop you in your tracks before you even start.
Keep A Positive Mindset
Negative thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “I’m never going to get a job” or “I’m so out of touch with everything, I won’t be able to keep up” can feed your procrastination and stop you from even trying to get ahead. Believe me, I totally understand how you feel because not such a very long time ago, I was standing exactly where you are now.
I found it scary putting myself out there because I was in a new country and having to use a new language. I can’t tell you how long I procrastinated because it would mean stepping outside my comfort zone. I actually saw a course advertised locally which was designed especially to help people like me prepare to return to work. Did I apply for it? Did I heck! I really wanted to do it but didn’t have the courage to apply. The reason I gave myself was that my German language wasn’t good enough. Really though, my German was fine, it was my confidence that wasn’t good enough!
There came a time though when I could no longer justify staying at home. My teenage children were still in school but needed me less and less. Although I was busy in summer, chalk painting furniture, during the winter months I had nowhere to work on projects and I found myself with too much time on my hands. To me, it felt as though the whole world was moving on and leaving me behind. Add to the equation, that we really could have done with the extra money, I knew I had to commit to actually taking the steps necessary to get me ready for the workplace.
I knew I needed a plan if I was going to succeed and first up on that plan, was confidence building. I promised myself, that the next time I saw that course being offered, I was going to be on it!
Finding Your Confidence
So how do you give your confidence the boost it needs to set you up for success from the start?
Well, during this time it’s important to stay positive. Stay away from negative people or if you can’t do that (if they are family members), try explaining to them how important getting a job is to you. Tell them that you need them to be supportive of you during this time and that you need them on your side. Only you know what you are capable of, believe in yourself and you will succeed.
Make A Plan
It’s important to make a plan before you start and to work through it step by step. You have to really commit to the process, in order to achieve your goal of getting a job.
So where do you start? Well, here’s my list of ten things you can do, to give your confidence a boost and start you on the road to success! Don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to do all of them. What’s important is that you start thinking of you, your goal and how you can achieve it.
1. If you are planning on returning to your former occupation, get in touch with old colleagues to find out about changes in your industry. Ask them to let you know about any new procedures which have been implemented since you’ve been away or if there are new skills you need to learn before returning. If you’re lucky not much has changed and you would be able to fit right back into a similar job. Most likely though, there will be some new skills to learn. Find out if you can learn these at a local college or evening school so that you’ll be prepared for your upcoming job search.
2. Maybe the thought of returning to the same occupation fills you with dread. Over the years our interests and priorities change. Maybe that high flying, super stressful job you did before starting a family is no longer as appealing now and you’d rather try something completely different. This is the perfect opportunity to regroup and plan a new start.
3. Make a checklist of all the things you need to do. I find, there is nothing more motivating than being able to check things off a list. For instance, if you need to learn new skills, write them down and find out where you can learn them. With each new skill learned, you’ll be able to check something off your list. When you start doubting yourself, you just need to look at your list to see the proof of all that you have already accomplished. It will also keep you on track so you know exactly what to do next.
4. Get your hair cut/styled. This will give you a small win and an instant confidence boost. Maybe change your hairstyle, get highlights or change your hair colour completely. When we look good, we feel good and a good haircut will do wonders for your self-confidence and is well worth the investment in my opinion.
5. Buy a new interview outfit appropriate for the line of work you’re aiming for. Hang it up on the front of your wardrobe or somewhere where you will be able to see it every day. Imagine what it will be like to wear that outfit in an interview for your dream job and the happiness you will feel when that job is offered to you. This should help you associate the interview process with positive thoughts and change your mindset to ‘success!’.
6. Buy new makeup. The chances are you haven’t bothered much with makeup since you’ve been at home, I know I didn’t. Now is the perfect time to refresh the items in your makeup bag. Most department stores will do your makeup for free if you buy one or two of their products. This is definitely worth doing, to get your makeup done professionally and get your look up to date.
7. Speak with your family about how your home routine will change after you start work. Are there jobs you can delegate to others so that you are not expected to juggle it all yourself. Time management will be important, you will need time adjust and to digest all the new information you’ll be learning. Make sure you get some help so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stressed. Speaking about your plans beforehand will mean your family will be better prepared for the changes to come and the parts they have to play. It will also help lessen the feeling of being overwhelmed if you know your family has your back.
8. Make a meal planner and start implementing it now. The more prepared you are at home, the easier your transition back to work will be. Start planning your meals for the following week so that you can shop ahead for ingredients. Do as much prep work as you can and store everything in the fridge or freezer. If you start doing this early on, by the time you go back to work, you’ll have a great routine already up and running and one less thing to worry about.
9. Don’t let the fear of failure paralyse you into doing nothing. Look at every interview you have as a learning experience. The more you do it, the better you’ll get and your nerves will start to melt away.
10. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, we all have them, it’s normal. What’s important is that you regroup, consider what might have gone wrong and how you can improve that next time around.
Finding a job is not impossible but it does take a certain amount of persistence and resilience. You may experience setbacks along the way but if you persevere and stay motivated, you will reach your goal eventually.
When in doubt remember this. You are amazing! There is nothing you cannot accomplish if you put your mind to it and stay focused on achieving your goal.
If you’ve had a job before and are just returning, you will have done this all before anyway and you can do it again. What’s stopping you? – If your answer is “Well........” hold that thought, write it down and start thinking about how you can solve it and check it off your list 😉
Talking of lists (did I tell you I'm a list person?), here it is again in checklist form:-
- Start networking - get in touch with old colleagues;
- Ditch the stress - regroup and plan a new start;
- Make a checklist of all the things you need to do;
- Get your hair cut/styled.
- Dress for success! - buy a new interview outfit;
- Update your look - buy new makeup;
- Reduce the overwhelm - delegate jobs;
- Be prepared - make a meal planner;
- Don’t be afraid of failure - you'll get better and better;
- Don't be discouraged by setbacks - onward and upward;
What's your favourite way of giving your confidence a boost? Share the goodness with us in the comments below.
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