My 12 essential steps to plan your return to paid work with confidence are a must-read if you are planning to go back to work soon. Today I share how to go back to work and Feel Good on the Outside to Feel Good on the Inside, step 11 of 12.
For many women, how we look on the outside helps us to feel good on the inside. Here are my top tips:
Check the dress code
This is particularly relevant if you are going back to a different employer or moving into a different career. The workplace has become much more casual in the past few years. If you are changing sector, the dress code may be completely different to what you are familiar with. When you go for interviews, it is always safe to overdress than underdress. Think about dressing one notch smarter than you would normally consider for work. If you are not sure what the dress code is, visit in advance to the offices or the area to get a feel for what is appropriate.
If the dress code is stated as “business casual”, keep it fairly formal i.e. no jeans, no trainers, no t-shirts, no flipflops. A smart pair of trousers or skirt and a blouse. Avoid garish colours or patterns, and add interest with a necklace or patterned scarf, but nothing too outrageous.
Revamp your wardrobe
Before you go back to work, give your wardrobe a revamp. Check what suits or work clothes you have, and review them with a critical eye. Do you need to send anything to the drycleaners? Do the clothes still fit? Are they still in fashion? Are they suitable for the time of year? Be ruthless with what you clear out. If you have suits that you would like to donate, consider Smart Works. They provide high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to out-of-work women on low incomes.
Easy to manage hairstyle and makeup
As a working mum, you may well find that you are always in a rush, especially in the mornings. You want to feel good when you go back to work. Think about a new hairstyle – one that is quick and easy to manage. As a working mum, you’re always in a rush so this is an essential. Look after your skin too – often offices are somewhat air-conditioned which is not great for your skin. If you wear makeup, a quick and easy routine makes good sense.
Feel good to look good
It is important to look after your body. You only get one body, so don’t neglect your own self-care. You are absolutely worth it. Never doubt that.
If your job requires you to sit down at a desk and computer all day, build in regular breaks. We know that moderate regular exercise is good for a healthy mind. When you sit down all day, it’s not good for your glutes and your hamstrings. Get up and walk about frequently; take mini breaks and look away from the computer monitor and focus your eyes on something much further away. Take the stairs instead of the lift. You might like to think about getting your Mummy Tummy back in shape. I’ve been following the exercises at Beez Kneez Hive.
What you eat is an integral part of how you feel
When you go back to work, you will be using more brain activity than perhaps before. So more important than ever to ensure that you eat healthily to keep you going throughout the day. Don’t miss breakfast which should ideally include some protein. Take a couple of healthy snacks with you – a few nuts (almonds or Brazil nuts), a handful of blueberries or raspberries with Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese, carrot and pepper sticks with hummus. Eat a healthy well-balanced lunch and avoid boosting your energy levels with sugar and caffeine.
In summary then, how you feel will affect how you look. If you feel good on the outside, and you look after your body, you will have more energy, and you will project more confidence.
Are you thinking of returning to work soon? Have you updated your CV yet? Before you do, listen to the recording of How to turn your parenting experience into desirable skills every employer wants – click to listen here.
Catch up on the other posts in this Returning to Work series.
- Understand your values – read post
- Identify your skills and strengths – read post
- The all-important LinkedIn profile – read post
- Seven tips for your CV – read post
- Childcare options when you go back to work – read post
- Use your KIT days wisely – read post
- Do the maths – do the sums add up? – read post
- Flexible working rights – read post
- Negotiate the household arrangements – read post
- Tips on better meal planning – read post
Never too soon to start planning
If you are a mum who’s taken a career break, and now you want to go back to paid work, these 12 essentials will get you started on the journey to go back to work with confidence. It’s never too soon to start planning.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? Lack confidence? Need help?
If you know you WANT to go back to work, but you also know that you NEED SOME HELP, book a call to find out how I can help you. The Confident Mother Experience may be just want you need. If you’ve reached that stage of trying to work it out on your own – go back to your previous career, change career or start a new business – and you’re just feeling completely overwhelmed or driving yourself nuts going round and round in circles AND you’re also smart enough to know that the best plan is to get some help, let’s talk. Click here to find a time that works for you.
I designed The Confident Mother Experience to help you identify the exact steps you need to take, when AND in which order. You will update your LinkedIn profile, refresh your CV, start networking, get clarity on what’s most important to you, and create a realistic and positive action plan to go back to work with confidence.
I am here to support you every step of the way. Most months I run free online training on this and similar topics – don’t miss out – leave me your details, and I’ll send you a reminder in advance.