“Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions.” (Chip Heath)
Going back to work is a wonderful and challenging decision that demands courage, perseverance, enterprise and large amounts of self-esteem.
You may have decided to leave working world for a number of reasons or maybe it wasn’t your decision at all but events in your life or other people may have decided for you.
Either way, if it is now time for you to return to work, try to start off on this path with optimism and the genuine will to succeed. Don’t be put off by critics or pessimists and try to devise a strategy regardless of discomforting statistics or failed, past attempts to go back to work.
There may be a long road ahead and you will certainly need plenty of patience, but a good plan will help you reach your objective.

To get you started, these are our first five tips:

Find yourself an alternative occupation

As you prepare to rejoin the workforce, providing you have a clear agreement with someone, you can decide to take an active role and immediately undertake a series of activities that will come in useful when you actually enter employment again.
While it is true that, in order to say you have a job you need someone to acknowledge the value of what you are doing (in financial terms too), it is equally true that if you start to do something of your own accord that you consider to be a true occupation, you will get back into a working routine. This will enable you to organise your days and plan or investigate something innovative in connection with your work, that you would normally be unable to do if you are full-time employment because your job would take up too much of your time.
Therefore, take the decision to “hire yourself”, give yourself objectives and activities that are valuable to you or to someone else, plan your time and start to find yourself an alternative occupation.

Be creative

Don’t expect others to tell you what you could do or offer you a specific job. It would be a long wait and far too risky.
Instead, work hard to clarify your ideas regarding what you want and can do in the working world. Don’t tell others or yourself that you are prepared to take on any job providing you get back to work. It is too large and generic an idea to be beneficial to you or others. Set aside some thinking time, look for ideas and incentives, gather inspirational stories. Talk to others, train your brain to be curious and be generous when sharing the ideas that come to mind, because sharing is a natural fertiliser that will help hone your ideas as well as a sign of inventiveness, enterprise and the ability to plan ahead. These are all fundamental skills for your future occupation.

Capitalise on the choices you have made

If you decided to opt out of work, you probably had very good reasons to do so or else it was due to factors beyond your control. Whatever the reasons, avoid hiding or glossing over them or changing the facts. Take the situation for what it is, talk about it frankly, finding a reason for what happened, highlighting the positives and what you learnt as a result.
Defend and capitalise on your choices and try to find a link with your future job. Don’t be ashamed of anything you did or feel inferior because you aren’t working and remember that your worth as a person does not depend on the work you do.

Cultivate self-esteem

We live in a society in which people who are not part of the workforce might not feel at ease and may lose faith in their abilities, opportunities and potential.
For this reason, it is fundamental to cultivate your self-esteem systematically, taking advantage of this period of self-awareness to get to know yourself in greater depth, acknowledging your talents, values and aptitudes.  Stop to think about all the good things you have done today, choose people who are dear to you and care for you and ask them to tell you the things they appreciate in you, giving you concrete examples. Remind yourself of all your achievements and hurdles you have overcome. Try to understand which skills and talents you put to use in those situations. Be benevolent and sympathetic towards yourself and try to understand how to make the best of all the things you can be proud of. Do something along these lines, however small, every single day.

Build alliances

Don’t attempt to set off on this path by yourself. Your resourcefulness is also measured by your ability to build alliances that will help you achieve the best result for you. Think of all the people you know and try to assess who can help you keep up your motivation levels, discover opportunities, recommend you to others and advise you on how to expand your network. The more allies you have, the greater your chances of re-entering the working world. Think of these people, draw up a list and decide on the best way to make them part of your plan, fix appointments with them and speak honestly and frankly about what you want from them and trust in their ability to support you.
 
#theartofworking is the art of recognising that things you do or don’t do every single day, determine the results you achieve