Returning to the workplace after months of being unemployed can be challenging. First there's the anxiety-inducing prospect of going back to an office routine after a lengthy stay at home. You may have even gotten used to checking emails in pajamas or sleeping in. With the guidance of career expert Dianne Gubin, we've compiled a strategy to help you bounce back to your pre-layoff routine and make a smooth transition.
That new suit you've been putting off buying because you thought you had all the time in the world? Well, it's time to make that a priority. "Your wardrobe might be dated so consider touching up with new pieces," says Gubin.
The same applies to bookkeeping, family event planning, and little details like arranging your children's pick-up and drop-off's now that you're back at work, she adds. "This is the time to prepare yourself and your family for the transition."
With no real commitment during the workday you may have gotten used to staying up late and sleeping in. Gubin suggestion for getting back in the swing of things is to sleep earlier and wake up early so your body clock can adjust. You should also test your commute time to avoid any mishaps on your first day.
Stay in tune with developments in your field by visiting blogs and industry websites catering to your field. Ask peers in your field (you may be able to find some on message boards) to tell you about the latest technology and brush up on it as soon as possible. You always want to stay engaged with the latest trends in your field.
Expect to get questions like, 'So what did you do before this?' says Gubin. "Less is more when answering," she adds. The reason? You don't want to come off as bitter, and people don't really care. Leave the details of how hard it was being laid-off for your friends and family. At work you want to "focus on the current job and how happy you are here," says Gubin.
Remember even with as much experience as you have in a tight economy you're always trying to make your best impression. "Listen more and talk less," says Gubin. "Your suggestions on how to improve things may not be welcome just yet." So keep a cool and focused temperament, "smile and be flexible."
"Try to figure out the key people at your new job as soon as possible and befriend them," says Gubin. "It's not always your boss or upper management" so be keep a watchful eye on the key players. They are the ones who will help you get a grip of the culture and my be able to connect you with the right contacts.
Also be sure to never lose touch with your prior network, even if it is to tell them about your new job, which Gubin believes should not be announced until after your probationary period.