Going back…to a new role after a long break

Even if your company has kept your job open for you while you took your maternity leave or sabbatical, going back can be intimidating. Sometimes though the job may not be the same job; you might not be sitting in the same place; people, equipment or processes may have changed. But that may not be a bad thing. Different may be good; it could be an opportunity.

Of course it’s scary. We all love familiarity – it’s very comforting. But you may find that you’ve changed more than you realised in your time away and what your old job offered you may not be what you need anymore.

• Think about the skills you’ve developed in your time off. They may have equipped you better for a slightly different role. 
• Your experience may have changed your opinion about work in general or more specifically about the role. Perhaps your passion is stronger in another area, perhaps you value a better work-life balance.
• Your new role may offer you different experiences to your old role and a chance to meet new people.
• This new role could give you the chance to reinvent yourself or change your working or communication style.

Don’t be quick to judge differences. Be prepared, for example, that people that may have been junior to you may now be more senior or more influential. There is no point begrudging them if they’ve worked hard for that role while you’ve been away. It won’t help you to adapt or fit back in. Try to imagine you’re new to the company and maintain some objectivity.

In fact, compared to when you were new to the company you have so many advantages now: you know the company, its culture, its customers, products and services and challenges it has faced. You even know where the loo and the canteen are. It may be hard to walk back in when so much has changed, but don’t try to recreate where you left off. Take what you learnt from before, what you’ve learnt in your time away, apply them both to your new role and let them shape who you are at work. For more information on returning to work after a long break give us a call 07771 332204