DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
RETURNING TO WORK
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2010
After months — if not years — of unemployment because of the recession, it’s great to land a job and to get back to work, right? Cash will be coming in again soon and you’ll have a restored sense of “identity” now that you have a job title again. But some people experience difficulty making this transition after a long period of unemployment, so start getting ready for your return to work today.
Say Goodbye to Your Free Time
As depressing as being out of work is, you probably have enjoyed getting more rest, eating better, working out more, spending time with your kids, rediscovering hobbies, and engaging in other activities that you never have time for because of long work hours. You’ll miss this time. It will help to begin talking about this with your family and friends so that you, as well as they, can get used to the fact that you won’t be around as much as you are now.
Start Your New Routine Now
The longer you’ve been out of work, the sooner you need to get on the schedule you will be on once you start your new job. Set your alarm, get up at the new time, and start following the ritual of showering, shaving or putting on your makeup, and getting dressed like you’ll be doing in a few weeks. Leave the house to do something everyday too. Don’t feel like it? You won’t feel like it in a few weeks either, so get used to it now. And move those activities that you now enjoy during the workday to a new time slot because your business day will be full. Which of these can be done before work? After work? Which will have to wait until weekends? Start shifting these enjoyments around now. Once you return to work, you’ll be overwhelmed quickly with all your new responsibilities and there will be little time to ponder these issues.
Stay Alert for New Opportunities
Celebrate your new job, but keep an eye out for opportunities that might better accommodate the activities you enjoyed while you were out of work. As the economy improves, you may learn of jobs that begin and end earlier in the day, enabling you time to spend with your kids like you did while unemployed. Of course it won’t be exactly the same, but you may find flex jobs, telecommuting positions, or other alternatives that work better for you. Similarly, if you discovered while unemployed that you prefer a healthier lifestyle, for example, you might want to look into jobs or entrepreneurial pursuits that embrace wellness. The objective is not to abandon your new job on a whim, especially in these uncertain times, but to take your interests into greater consideration and strategically research and explore other options as new opportunities become more plentiful again. This may be way off in the future but, now that you’ve had time off to learn more about yourself and the things that make you feel healthier and happier, there’s no harm in considering changes that might allow you to enjoy greater career satisfaction and work-life balance in the future.
By all means enjoy your new job! You deserve to feel good about returning to work. But your transition will be smoother if you get on your new routine now and prepare yourself emotionally for some of the things you’ll miss once your time is no longer your own.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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