How to Get Back to Work in the UK

Returning to work after a break, however long or short, can be very difficult. The prospect of going back into employment should be exciting, but once you commence your search for a new job there are so many things to consider. The role, the hours, the pay and even the commute are all important elements of your new job that can make or break your new career move.

Perhaps you’re returning back to your old job after some time away? If so, you may be wondering how you’ll slot back in especially if things have changed? New systems, new colleagues, and perhaps a new office environment can all contribute to those ‘first day nerves’ – even for a place you’ve spend time working in before.

Don’t worry though, as we’ve put together a guide to help you back into work, whether that’s to a completely new job, or a return to your old one.

Starting a new job

Firstly, to get a new job, you’ll most likely have to spend a long timing trawling through potential job opportunities and applying with your new and improved, up-to-date CV. To show yourself in your best light and get the job you want, it is imperative to have a show-stopping CV.

Many recruitment companies and job application websites will offer support and tips on how to best present your CV and ensure that you are providing all the relevant and most impressive parts of your professional career. Visit your recruitment consultant to get the best advice and direction, it is also good to build up a good rapport with your consultant as they will be likely go on to make good recommendations to potential employers on your behalf, upping your chances of bagging an interview.

Back to work charities

For those who have been unemployed long term, back to work charities can really make a difference. If you have been out of employment for a significant amount of time due to redundancy and looking for employment then your CV may show lack of relevant experience and for some job roles this shows an inability to do the role on offer. This is where back to work charities can help; by combining education and work in one, employees can learn as they earn.

Going back to work after children

Taking time out of work to have a family can mean that you’re out of the professional rat-race for quite sometime, perhaps even for over a decade! Bringing up children is most likely the most important thing you can do, and its something that can’t and shouldn’t be rushed. However, when that time rolls around when its time to get back to employment, it can be both daunting and exciting. For most parents the idea of adult conversation and some independence is enough to have them running out the door, but juggling this new family life with work can be tough.

After such a long time out you will most likely fear whether your skills and experience are good enough now. However, its important to remember that raising a family is no easy ride, and you can draw upon the skills you’ve honed while tackling toddlers and apply them to your new job. Communication, multi-tasking, time management (and surviving on next to no sleep!) are all excellent skills which will make going back into the workplace so much easier.

When applying for new jobs as a parent, it’s a good idea to consider both full time and part time positions to decide what’s right for you. Lots of people now need flexible working so you’re not in the minority. Mobile working is also on the rise, meaning you may be able to find a role working from home.

The key is to negotiate a working pattern that works for both you and your family, and your employer. Some options include:

  • Working five days over four.
  • Working from home.
  • Job sharing.
  • Delayed starts or finishes to work around school drop off.
  • Project work – Allowing you to work solid, full time whilst completing a project, then taking time off in lieu.

Returning to work after illness

Whether you’ve been off work with a physical or mental illness, returning to your old job or starting a new one can be difficult on many levels. A bit like returning to work as a parent, flexible working hours would likely be a good idea to allow you attend healthcare appointments or allow you to slowly get back into the swing of working without over doing it.

Anxiety and stress related issues are one of the most common reasons for long term unemployment so its important that you get the right balance of health and wellbeing in your workplace.

It can feel like such an alien concept returning to work, however many people benefit emotionally and physically from returning to work. It can give you a greater sense of identity and purpose, an opportunity to gain friendships, an improved financial situation and security and a feeling that you’re a part of a team.