“Will I get a job after this break? Especially, a job of my choice, on my terms? Will it be possible for me to adapt to the new work environment? Will I meet my classmates, who have meanwhile climbed the corporate ladder, and what if I will be reporting to them?”
How many of us have been haunted with these questions when we decided to get back to work after taking a break?
I went through the same emotional battle, after I decided to get back to work, after an absence of four years. Taking time off from work was obvious at the time, and I have absolutely no regrets for that. However, there comes a time when you start missing more cerebral conversations, brainstorming sessions, pressures, targets and the camaraderie.
Though getting back to work immediately was not an option for me at that point of time, I kept myself updated by enrolling in distance learning programs. This helped me keep myself in touch with the latest in my field. Later, when I was interviewing, instead of trying to explain my break, I could point to my continued learning as evidence of my seriousness.
Once I had decided to get back into the professional sphere, I found an opportunity that matched my interests and qualifications. However it came after patiently perusing job portals and working with recruitment firms for almost a year. In retrospect, I feel that if I had someone at that point of time, who could guide me in terms of gaining certain skill sets, connecting me to mentors in my field and could help me prepare for the interview, it would’ve been a great help.
Nevertheless, I personally believe that if you are confident of yourself, and believe in your own skills, then break is just a word. When you don’t get perturbed by it, nobody else does. Instead of worrying about what you can do, think about what you want to do and work towards it. Think of this as an opportunity to rediscover and recreate yourself - a positive reinforcement is all that you need.
And as you continue doing all of this, remember that amongst all the time that you spend for your work and family, there is something called a ‘me time’ that is just yours. Pursue a long lost hobby, or develop a new one, make new friends, explore new hangout places with them. Just find that recharging ‘me time’, and trust me, very soon you will realize how easy it is to let go, not brood over things, find happiness in small things, and enjoy the tiniest moments that make you laugh.
That’s what is called living after all, isn’t it?
Malavika Deoras is a marketing professional with one of the leading international schools in Bangalore for the last year and a half. She worked for five years in various marketing functions before taking a break for four years.