Reigniting your professional aspirations and building or rebuilding your career can be a mix of emotions - thrill, excitement, fear, guilt, and stress and frustration. It takes a lot of courage to prioritize yourself and make your dreams a reality, so here are a few things to keep in mind during your job search to stay motivated and consistent:
Your journey is your own:
It’s always tempting to look around you and evaluate your accomplishments and journey based on other’s milestones. Maybe you see your peers progressing in their career journeys or people seemingly landing jobs quickly and easily. In times like these, it’s important to remember that your journey is your own. Everyone’s situation is different, so rather than putting yourself down by looking at those around you, accept your situation, celebrate yourself, and continue to focus on your goals. You can’t change what happens with those around you, but you have all the power to work towards self-improvement. Continue building your professional network, upgrade your skill set, seek projects and opportunities to grow your skills, and take care of yourself - and things will fall into place.
Your career break is not a setback:
Don’t look at your break as a setback. Rather than perceiving it as time you lost, look at what you gained from it - the precious time you got with your children or family, the space you got to heal and come back stronger, the enriching experiences that gave you clarity and perspective. A career break can be a tool to boost your career growth as it can provide you with the space to explore different fields, pursue passion projects, and facilitate a career switch.
Understand that change is okay:
Change can be scary - it makes you leave the realms of your comfort and face the unknown. Change, however, doesn’t always have to be bad! It is a gateway for new opportunities, fresh perspectives, and personal and professional growth. Returning to work after a break can be a scary process. You might have apprehensions about dealing with the lifestyle changes it involves and the workplace changes you have to face. Don’t let this fear hold you back - understand that you have handled change earlier and got through. Another way to help is to take small steps at a time, such as pursuing internships or return ship programs to ease your way back to the workforce.
Focus on your self-care:
Searching for a job can take up a lot of time and energy - make sure to keep aside some time for your mental and physical well-being. You can try picking up a hobby, following a self-care routine, spending time with loved ones to keep your mental well-being on track. Eating nutritious and complete meals, staying hydrated, and building an exercise routine can help you stay physically fit.
Rejection is not personal:
Although not getting a callback or constantly facing rejections can be frustrating, remember that this rejection is not personal. Getting rejected by a hiring team is not a reflection of your worth. There could be many reasons for a hiring team to move past your application, and none of it is under your control! Don’t take it personally - leave it behind and move forward with your application and preparation process.
Talk to someone:
Stay connected during your job search to keep your morale up.
Reach out to your friends or family to share your goals, ask for help, or talk. Try to seek out and connect with working professionals in the field you aim to pursue a career in, or reach out to communities and career coaches for career advice or mentorship. Remember that staying connected and being part of a community can help you overcome feelings of isolation and foster a sense of being heard. It can also aid in boosting your morale and confidence by creating a sense of empathy. Meeting other people going through similar experiences and sharing perspectives support and advice can help ease the feelings of isolation and dejection.
Need some more encouragement and guidance for your career comeback? Learn more with the Her Second Innings community.
About the Author
Meghana Ganesh is a Community Manager at Her Second Innings. She is a Computer Science Graduate with a passion for women’s empowerment and equality, and diversity hiring in organizations.
Her Second Innings supports women professionals on a sabbatical in their journey of getting back to work. The mission of HSI is to guide women to achieve financial independence. Support from HSI comes in the form of job interviews, reskilling programs in Automation, and, free Career Guidance Counselling. Sign up with us and complete your profile to get a call from our counselors to know your job fit.
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