Going back to work after a long break
Episode 154 - How to job-hunt and go back to work after a long break: Unusual advice you will not find anywhere else
Many professionals have not looked for a new job in many years. They are either a) in the workforce but have worked for the same organization for a long time, or b) have been on a career break for some time and have not looked for work for over a year. Job hunting and returning to work after a long break can be challenging. In this episode, I provide some out-of-the-box advice to make this process less stressful and, hopefully, more fun.
Here is my unusual advice you will not find anywhere else on how to job-hunt and go back to work after a long break.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Book recommendation: Thinking fast and slow
Book recommendation: The undoing project
Book a call with me to discuss private coaching
Learn more about the Job Hunting Made Simple online course and group coaching program
Timestamps to guide your listening
Watch an episode of Grand Designs (04:16)
Seek comfort & happiness (08:06)
Don't go into job-hunting cold turkey (12:00)
Transcript of this episode
Renata: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Job Hunting Podcast. In this episode, we're gonna talk about how to go back to job hunting or go back to work after a long break. I'm gonna give you three unusual pieces of advice that you will not find anywhere else, and I hope that you enjoy listening to them. I talk to many professionals.
On a weekly basis, who has no job hunted in a long time? If ever, you know, some people have found jobs through friends and family. Some people have been promoted since their first job as a graduate and have been in the organization that they've started for many, many years.
And they haven't had the opportunity to use this career muscle that requires you to seek a job, apply for it, go through the, you know, recruitment and selection process. And there's a lot of frustration that happens there. Unknowns. So I'm going to give you some advice. I'm also approached by professionals who have had, for one reason or another, taking a long break from work.
And this break could have happened because they've had kids, they have had health issues, they have opted for time out and gone traveling or done something completely different. There are so many reasons why one could have a career break. This could be for months. It could even be for many years. And they want to go back into the workforce, and they need some support.
So they contact me, and we have an exploratory chat and decide if coaching is good for them or not. So I have, you know, some idea of what happens out there with professionals and also for my own personal experience. And if you want to go back into the workforce, job hunting is the first step.
And finally, there are some people that come back to a job after a career break, and they already have a job. They don't need to job hunt. But it's still, you know, it's hard to go back into that routine and that discipline. So this episode may also be helpful for people in that situ. Personally, I recently went on my longest overseas strip.
I was away for 50 days. In one of my newsletters, I wrote that I was away for 60 days. So if you're a subscriber, apologies for that. Many people wrote back to me and corrected it because they follow them, and I, you know, read my newsletters. They follow me on Instagram, and they were like, 60 days was that, you know, was it that long?
And, of course, they were right. It wasn't 60, it was 50. So if you're not subscribed, and you want to be, there's a link in the show notes, or you can go to my website, https://www.renatabernarde.com , and scroll down to the bottom of that landing page, the homepage, and you will find a link to subscribe. And also, at the top of the podcast page, there's a link to subscribe to my weekly newsletter.
Anyway, I digress. I had to use some of the advice that I'm giving you today on going back to my usual routine after being away for 50 days. But mostly when we have that exploratory meeting with potential coaching clients. You know, my goal as a coach is to try to understand their level of understanding of what job hunting is and how long it will last, and if they have space in their lives to fit job hunting.
Sometimes if you are so busy, they don't realize that they need to carve out the time and put in the effort to actually be successful at edit. Let's talk about what those three unusual pieces of advice are. I hope you find them entertaining. The first one is very unusual and wacky, and I invite you to watch an episode of Grand Designs.
Have you ever watched Grand Designs? It's one of our favorite shows here at home. It started in the UK, so there's that. That's kind of the original Grand Design show, but there's one from New Zealand that we love and one in Australia. And basically, there is a host, and he will go to someone's house or a piece of land. There will be a couple or an individual that's usually immensely unaware of the sort of project they're about to embark on, which is either building house or doing some house restorations and renovations.
And it's pretty, you know, every episode is the same. The host asks them, How long do you think this project will last? And they will say something like, ah, it will be done in six months or three months. And three years later, the host comes back, and the house is still not done, and they're over budget by like a hundred percent, if not more.
It's pretty funny, but look the reason why I want you to watch this episode is because, you know, people often think that they can do everything for half the budget. Half the time, usually, we're greatly enthusiastic at the start of a project. Then halfway through, we lose our minds, and then
we're often happy with the result at the end. So, you know, whenever a client of mine goes through a setback in their job hunting, I'm like, look, you're going to be fine at the end of this. Just know that this is part of the process. But frankly, you know, working with a coach should not make you lose your mind.
And that's the whole point of the grand designs, right? Like, you know, the host will often say, Are you sure you want to do this on your own? You're not hiring a project manager, you're not hiring an engineer, you're not hiring an architect. So usually like, it's pretty funny that people have this idea that they can manage it all, and it's tough to manage everything on your own, especially if you are inexperienced in whatever project you're embarking on. So what does that teach you? You know, watching an episode of Grand Designs will teach you that humans are terrible at making plans and understanding the length of time a project takes and the effort that it will require. And humans are also terrible at understanding probabilities, especially if you're in job hunting mode.
You know, understanding that you are one of many, that this is a pipeline, and that the best scenario, which is like the end of a recruitment process, you have a 50% chance. Like nobody goes to the final interview alone, it's very rare. Usually your one of two, which is a 50% chance for you, or you're one of three, which is a 33% chance for you.
So we're very bad at understanding that for some reason. I want you to go and watch this episode, but if you are like a deep thinker and you wanna go high brow, you can of course read books like Think Fast and Slow or The Undoing Project. Those are great books to understand how bad we are at making plans and understanding how to have foresight.
Plan ahead for big projects like job hunting or anything else for that matter, like building a house. I'll put the links to those books in the episode show notes if you're thinking about it. And of course I'll put a link to Grand Designs as well, so you can go ahead and watch an episode. You might be hooked like I am, and watch every single episode out there of Grand Designs.
[00:08:05] Second recommendation
Renata: The second recommendation I have for you is to seek comfort and happiness. Job hunting is not easy. Going back to work is not easy. You know, my group coaching program is called Job Hunting Made Simple for a reason. I did not call it job hunting made easy because I didn't want people to think it will ever be easy even working with me, what I tried to do is make it simple, make it faster, but it's not easy. If you're working on your own and your job hunting on your own, it can be really stressful if it's unstructured. It can be overwhelming, it can be frustrating, it can be sad. My goal as a coach, is to change that mindset, is to gamify it.
It's to make you understand that this is a competition and then teach you all the rules of that game and how to be the best player in that game. So that is my secret sauce. That's what I love to do. You don't have to be burned to know that fire is dangerous, right? Like you look at a fire, you know you're not supposed to touch it
So please listen to what I'm telling you in terms of how stressful it can become to engage in job hunting and prepare your life for that rollercoaster ride. Now look, if it's easier than you've planned, then you're luck. And you count your blessings? And you know, you say, Wow! How lucky am I that I went for my first job interview and I got that job? and Bob's your uncle. You don't need to worry about it. But chances are you will thank me for this, for preparing you for what is probably a longer process than you envision and a bit more frustrating than you envision. Just plan for it and be ready for that emotional rollercoaster ride as well. It's not so much the time it takes, but what it does to your head.
So having that comfort and happiness around you. Sorrounding you with other things that will make you happy over time is really important as you embark in what can be a stressful project for you, especially if you haven't done it in a while. So the rest of your life, is it allowing you to embark in this project. You know, other things that can impact you and make your life super uncomfortable and not so happy is like you're job hunting, but you're also building a house. You're also trying to get pregnant, you're also have a full time job that's really, you know, taking a lot of your energy. You have health issues, you're a carer for somebody.
You might need to structure your life in a way to carve out the time and seek comfort in other things around you so that when the job hunting gets really tough, you can take a break from it and then do something else. So think about maybe not taking too many projects all at once. Understanding you can comfortably take on without impacting on your stress levels so that they're not too much for you.
You know, I have had clients that I've coached when they were in bed recovering from extensive surgery or going through more than one issue, but we discussed as part of our coaching, how they can add that comfort around them to support their projects. It could be counseling, it could be exercise, it could be, you know, going on a holiday, having longer weekends, getting help, you know, to help around the house or help with the kids, you know, having a hobby, seeking out that happiness and that comfort and that support is so important because job hunting is not easy,
like I said. My goal is to make it simple and give you a roadmap.
[00:11:59] Third recommendation
Renata: All right, so third, the third and final wacky strategy for this episode. Don't go into job hunting "cold turkey". Now, cold Turkey is an expression used when someone does something in a abrupt and sudden manner. You originally, you know, we use this expression to explain when somebody stops an addiction quickly, instead of tapering it off overtime.
I remember, I have to admit, I used to smoke cigarettes and when I decided to move to Australia, one of the dumb things that I decided as part of my moving strategy is that, you know, I'm gonna become another person in Australia and I will stop smoking as soon as I land in that country. In the stress of the move in Brazil, I actually started smoking even more unfortunately, and then hopped on a plane without a cigarette, and got here.
And of course, you know, the stress of it all. You know, I came to Australia alone with two kids. And stayed with friends for three weeks. Couldn't find a house for rent, it was just so stressful. A few days later, I bought a pack of cigarettes. I don't smoke anymore, so you'll be happy to know. I managed to taper it off. But going cold Turkey was not a good strategy for me.
That was super damn. So what I mean by that advice is for you to start a project and take it a step at a time. You know, don't just start on a Monday and say, okay, I'm gonna job hunt all day nonstop. And, you know, adding too much to your plate when you haven't done it in a. Then that's not a good strategy if you're going back to work after an extended break.
Tapping it off is also a good idea. I recently worked with a client and she was on maternity leave and she was going back to work to a different job and on a promotion. So it was a more senior position than the one she had before. And what we discussed was going back one day a week and then two days a week and then up to, you know, four days a week, which is what she wanted to work.
So that sort of tapping it off after an extended break, especially with so much on her plate with a new child and all was, I mean, she really liked that idea and she hadn't thought of that before. But that's the sort of idea that you can implement as you start your job search. And often, you know, I see people starting job searching Hogans blazing, you know, and then after a few weeks or a few months, they give up completely.
I have somebody that once did an exploratory meeting with me and she said, I started, I was so excited. I applied for what was my dream job and I didn't get. And then I got so depressed I didn't look for a job for two years. And we had a consultation on how she could go back into the job hunting game again.
So if you want to book a consultation with me, just go to my website. It may help you get yourself started. So those are the three ideas. Don't go into job hunting cold Turkey. Try to find comfort and happiness and surround yourself with that comfort and that happiness as you embark on what could be a stressful journey and watch an episode of Grand Designs so you better understand those level of support that you may want to get.
And you know, open your eyes to what can be done in terms of planning and getting yourself organized for that new project of yours. And if you want to know more about job hunting, attend my masterclass on the fifth and the 6th of October, 2022. There are two time options available, so pick a time that suits you an attended life where you can.
Questions interact with me, and then I will give you access for 10 days to review the masterclass and absorb as much of the learnings as possible. This masterclass will be 90 minutes long. I will be facilitating it for the last time in 2022 I have been doing this free job hunting masterclass twice a year for the past couple of years, and my goal is to give you an insight on what is happening right now in the job market, the trends in recruitment and selection, and also for you to have an experience of what it is like to work with me as a coach. This is not like a podcast episode. The masterclass is like an extension of my group coaching program, job hunting made simple, or can I say it's a prequel? Because I start coaching that group next month. So let's catch up and see if you want to go for a test drive for my group coaching program, go to my website and register for this free masterclass. My website is https://www.renatabernarde.com . You will find a link to it in the episode show notes and I look forward to seeing you there If you this episode may help a friend, don't forget to forward it to your friend and pay it forward. If you've just found this and you haven't yet subscribed to this podcast, hit that subscribe button now so you can get the episodes every week.
And if you've been listening for it for a while and it's been helping you, I would really appreciate if you could write a review. You can do that on iTunes and also on Spotify and I would love to read your review. Thanks so much for listening, and I will see you next time. Bye for now.
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
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