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  • Writer's pictureWomenCareer&Life

Season 1 Intro: Return to work after a break

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Breaks happen for various reasons. It could be a layoff, a sabbatical to raise kids or just time off to recalibrate your life. In this episode you will hear about the highs and lows of finding a job, the need to build your tribe to work through the transition and also ideas to stay positive during those first few months back at work.

Come, let's #paintlifetogether!

Follow us on Instagram @womencareerandlife and don't forget to listen & subscribe to the podcast!


Each podcast has a few takeaways at the end. We have encoded them into a cypher for fun and to make it easy to remember! Each cypher has a set of clues that you can use to break the code. Our cypher for this episode on returning to work after a career break is RETURN.

R - Reach out to contacts

Open up your linked in or your contact book and send a quick note to your old boss or your colleagues. Let them know you are looking to return to work. If they respond back, call, email or meet them for coffee. Almost everyone is willing to help so don't hesitate to take this first step.

E - Establish new routines

Returning to work can be daunting, especially as we balance work home and all our other responsibilities. Write down all the tasks you and your partner or family have to do. Decide how to break it down and establish new routines so things can go as smoothly as possible. Be ready and willing to change the routine if it's not working for you. For example, do you need a daycare with longer hours or should you carpool so you can work during the drive.

T - Be prepared for Tradeoffs

Are you always the person who signs up to volunteer or bake cookies? Are you particular about how laundry is done or can you let someone else take on that chore. You most likely will have to make some tradeoffs. If you made that task list for your routines, now is a good time to whip it out and see what you can compromise on or let go.

U - Build Ur support tribe

My tribe, my friends, my sounding board. Ask friends, neighbours, family, the school in your neighbourhood, the librarian for information. Your tribe can help keep you grounded, lend a listening ear, have your back, provide care, help with chores, tell you which daycare to pick or help with establishing new routines. Don't hesitate to ask for help or resources and someone will step in to lend a hand. This is your tribe- they are a blended, diverse group that you should continue to seek out and nurture.

R - First year will be Rocky

No matter how prepared you are reality is a whole different picture. Get ready for the bumpy terrain and keep your spirits up and your eyes focused forward. Take a deep breath and find time for yourself and make sure your key items are being checked off. The rest is staying adaptable and flexible.

N - Say No to negative self talk

Negative self-talk can rare its ugly head, be sure to push it back down and lock it in the closet. You are strong, you are tough and yet vulnerable. Find time to go for a walk, meet with friends, read a book, knit, whatever keeps you positive. The journey can be hard but well worth it. Many of us have navigated this same terrain and so can you. Feel free to reach out to your tribe or this community to help you navigate your "Return to work".

Food for thought:

Here is today's food for thought,

  • Breaks are going to happen, whether it's by choice, or you were laid off, it's going to happen. And that's a way of life in your career

  • Trade-offs are certain as you try and make a transition back to work. So that would be something to be prepared for. From our experience, we have learned that it is important to build that support system, your family, your friends, and your caregivers, whoever it might be, to help you get back into work and make the transition

  • The last thing that I would say is what pulls everything together - be easy on yourself. That in itself will make everything around the transition much easier

Resources Mentioned:

Similar Podcast Transcripts: Return to Work Season

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Follow me on Instagram @womencareerandlife and don't forget to listen & subscribe to the podcast here!

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