Many of the women I talk to had planned to go back to work, change career or start a business once the kids started school in September. Now it’s October. Almost Halloween. The trick or treating dilemma. But often they are not sure How to go back to work after a career break.
And now they’re thinking, “I haven’t got any excuses”, “I should have got started”, “it’s already half-term”, “parents evening is almost here”, “soon it will be the New Year”.
Somehow life got in the way. And isn’t that one of the constants when you are a woman and a mother.
However you DO still have eight whole weeks until the end of the year (OK technically nine weeks but how many mums get ‘time to themselves’ between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day).
What’s the reason you want to go back to work?
Maybe you’re needing to feel valued. Maybe it’s the adult conversation that you crave. Maybe you’re feeling that if you don’t go back soon, that you wasted all those years studying.
But perhaps you’re also worried that technology has changed so much that your IT skills are not up to it. You know you are a dab hand at getting everybody to school on time with the right books on the right day but you can’t see how that’s of any use to potential employers.
Or perhaps you’ve been putting off going back to work, because you didn’t really enjoy what you were doing before. Or you can’t see how it’s going to fit around childcare.
Just get started …
The trick is this. Just get started! It sounds simple, doesn’t it. But it is … you simply need to decide that you want to start and just do it. Trust in the process. Even if you’re uncertain about what you want to do, the best thing to get clarity and focus, is to just get started.
Here’s how …
Make a plan.
Even though it might seem like a huge task, the first thing is to make a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you won’t know what you’re doing or how you’re going to get there. And then what happens …. nothing. Exactly. Zilch. Nada.
Here’s the plan …
- Make quiet time for yourself. Perhaps when the kids are all in bed – or when they are at a play date. It is important that you have good quality time – time when you will not be distracted or interrupted. Some people like their quiet time to be absolutely silent. Others find their quiet time in a busy cafe. Do what works for you. There’s no right or wrong.
- Sit down with a clock or a timer, a pen, and a big clean piece of paper. Set the timer and take 15 minutes to brainstorm everything that you need to do to go back to work. Write it down. Big ideas, little ideas. Write it all down.
- This braindump will help to ‘declutter’ your brain and stop you feeling overwhelmed. That feeling of overwhelm stops you thinking effectively and creatively.
- Look at the different tasks. Decide which is the most important and start on that one first.
- If it feels too big, break it down into smaller bite-sized steps by repeating the 15 minute braindump.
Now that you have your braindump, set aside regular 15 or 30 minute chunks of time every day to work your way through the different steps. Each time you come to a piece that feels too big, use your 15 minutes to brainstorm all the smaller pieces of that piece.
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