Have you ever felt the blues of going back to work after a vacation? Maybe you’ve had an extended period of time off of work and now you’re going back into the workforce. Need some tips for returning back to work? Either way, there is an obvious adjustment that needs to happen whether you like it or not.
After graduating with my Master’s degree and living in a different country I found it difficult to find a proper full-time gig. It wasn’t that I wasn’t qualified, it was more-so that I didn’t have the visa most companies would allow for employees to have. Flash forward to present time, right now, I have been granted permanent residency and have secured a full-time gig. As exciting as it may sound, the hardest part was adjusting back to the workforce.
How Did I Do It? – Returning Back To Work
It wasn’t easy at first, but it slowly became easier and second nature. For me, it’s about structure and being flexible. Funny hearing those two things in one sentence isn’t it?
Although I thrive off of structure, I structure myself to ALLOW for flexibility… to allow for those hiccups and times things may not go to plan. Side note, this has also helped me manage my anxiety.
#1 Prioritize Sleep
During unemployment, sleep patterns are extremely flexible and fluid. However, once the structure of a full-time position comes into play and you’re returning back to work, sleep should be at the forefront.
I started going to sleep an hour earlier each night to shift my sleep pattern. This means I set my alarm for an hour earlier as well to adjust to waking up earlier. You can’t function properly without a good nights rest, and the first couple of weeks adjusting back to full-time work will leave you exhausted.
#2 Get Ahead
You’ll want to get ahead with preparing for the next day so you aren’t in a rush when you wake up. This means I will lay out my clothes the night before and make sure everything I need for the morning is prepared. My bag will already have my wallet, ID, and so forth in it, and my lunch will be prepared and ready in the fridge.
This allows for stress-free mornings where you can just focus on getting ready and breakfast. Plus, for me it helps me feel organized.
#3 Active Support System
Like anything in life, you’ll want to be sure you have an active support system. This doesn’t have to be an every-day check up, but at the weeks end it will be nice to have a support system that you can rely on to talk about the week.
For me, I am lucky enough to have a very close support system that allows me to talk about my nerves, excitement, and every-day tasks at work. This reassures me that I am in the right place and that at times it is okay to feel overwhelmed. Your support system should be encouraging and understanding to help you with returning back to work.
#5 Look After Yourself
Although this may go hand-in-hand with everything else, you must look after yourself. Fill your diet with healthy foods that energize and leave you feeling light and happy.
Even if you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day, take necessary breaks to get fresh air and take a moment away for yourself. It is easy to lose sight of everything else that has brought you enjoyment when you were unemployed, when you are swept off into a completely new schedule.
For me, this means going outside for my lunch break even if I have brought my own lunch in… I don’t eat at my desk as it may mean I see that e-mail and feel obligated to write back. Look after yourself!
#6 Do What You Love
It’s important that you still structure time in your life to do what you love. On the weekends, even though you may be tired, make it a point to get out and do what you love. This will give you a proper balance to your work life. Lucky for you, we’ve also covered how to manage your work-life balance… you can read that here.
#7 Celebrate Milestones
It is so important that you acknowledge and celebrate your milestones (within reason). Life gets crazy and if we take a step back you can actually see all the mini milestones you’ve achieved.
For me, when I celebrate a milestone it recharges me and excites me to do better. It’s also is a good reminder to myself that I am capable. Set aside time to for personal celebrations and reward yourself with something you love!
Have you guys got any more tips on returning back to work? Leave a comment below!