Are You Really Ready to Return to Work?
Every day I hear from job seekers that claim their job search is their highest priority..but, there is always a caveat. It is the “except for” that really defines the reality of the moment. I naturally take note of all of the reasons people offer for not immediately jumping on each and every lead they receive, even when they have declared their situation is dire, i.e., close to homelessness or bankruptcy. In order to be able return to work after an extended or even short absence from the workplace, it is important to take inventory of what is currently going on in your life that might truly prevent your from successfully becoming reemployed.
Are you physically able to return to the work you were last doing? Medically speaking, you need to know what you are able to endure, i.e., type of work, number of hours you can perform, and how far you are able to travel to do it. Go get the check up you have been putting off. Practice doing the work you are expecting to do, for 8-10 hours each day, for one week. Drive the commute during peak hours. Know for certain before you start work, that you are able to do it.
Are you mentally able to do the work you last did? If you have you experienced setbacks in regard to your health, sanity or quality of life due to work related stress or demands, then it is time to take inventory of what has happened in your past experience. Pay attention to what has created undesirable side affects in the past and determine if current circumstances will allow you to return to a similar environment or situation without repercussions.
Is your business in order? Many people have open issues that continue to interrupt their focus. Going to work is only going to compound the stress of not having finished a project, and will also extend how long it may take to wrap it up. Make sure you are ready to accept that status, before you commit to something new that you cannot focus on 100%. Auto and home repairs need to be attended to before you go to work. If they are currently interrupting time needed to invest in your search, then how in the world will you deal with them during a normal work day?
Is your family in order? Before you can return to work it is important to ensure that childcare for young children is arranged, transportation for older children to go to school or other activities is arranged, and that medical appointments have been set at times that fit with the your work schedule if you are required to accompany them.
Are your sleep habits conducive to the hours you will be required to spend at work? One of the biggest impacts on people returning to work and a regular business schedule, is their ability to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up in the morning. If you are currently staying up until 2:00 or 3:00 A.M. and sleeping to 11:00, then expect it to take weeks to change your internal clock to function with a normal work schedule if the expected hours are 9:00 – 5:00.
Are you refreshed and ready to go? Keep in mind, the new kid on the block is typically going to be at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to choosing vacation days or actually earning them any time soon. If you simply need a break before you begin, then factor that in when negotiating a start date. No need to tell them what you are doing, simply set a date that allows you to do what you need to get back in the game at 100%.
If this has given you a wake up call, or there are any other areas you can think of that could impact someone’s ability to return to work, please share!