This blog is to assure women like me, who have rejoined the workforce after a long break, to continue to believe in their strengths and to help them find solace in their day to day work.
After a lot of internal conflicts and enough thought-process, you must have decided to finally rejoin the workforce. Every small thing might look different to start with, only save if you are rejoining the same team and picking up from where you left. This may not be the case with most of us. I also believe that you had taken your time to research and get into the company that would best suit you with a helpful work culture.
The struggles a woman faces, on come back, is pretty hard to comprehend, unless one has trodden the same path. I have sailed through this phase and would like to share my learnings here, hoping that it might help you to hold your head straight and keep going with a good spirit.
Don’t panic with new tech jargons
You might be prepared to get adjusted to the new processes. But your confidence might dip, soon after you attend your first project meeting. Few days into work and every discussion that you are a part of seems to go above the head. Feel assured that, this ‘I am outdated ‘ feeling is quite common unless you are a super confident person. The tip would be to stay calm and focus on all that you could grasp. Make good notes of your understanding which would come in handy to build on in the future. Try and look-up for more information steadily and feel free to talk to your peers to get more pointers.
Just keep this habit going and soon you will find yourself starting to feel comfortable with those jargons, (monsters!) which once scared you and made you nervous at the very utterance. Also, remember, new tech is something every-one has to deal with at work. So you are not the only one. Having a positive mind-set to learning new stuff would be the right way out.
Be open and curious to learn
Being open and curious to learn will help you a long way in making your come back meaningful to you as well as your company. Don’t invest time into feeling overwhelmed at the amount of information that has gone by during your break. Let it be gone. Rather, pull out the child in you and explore more. Learn more by doing and presenting your learnings to your team.
Run your own race
We often compare ourselves with someone, on a professional and personal front. This doesn’t help especially when you are returning after a break. You might have to depend on people with varied experience levels, or your ex-colleague/friend might be higher on the ladder than where you are. Needless to say, this comparison is counter-productive. Start afresh, on a clean slate. Make your footprint count in your own style and set your own milestones. This will make you happy while accomplishing every small milestone.
Take baby steps
Being ambitious is healthy for your mind. But being overly-ambitious will affect your peace. After a break, you tend to be a little slow at the start and be stuck every now and then. You don’t have to curse yourself or doubt your abilities at once. Draw reasonable milestones and work towards it, one small step a day. You will eventually see yourself going beyond what you had planned and without consciously measuring yourself against a high-expectation bar.
Be prepared to unlearn and adapt to the new working style
Work patterns might have changed manifold since the time you last worked. Rather than comparing now and then at every small step, be prepared to learn, unlearn certain things, and get accommodated with this new work-culture.
Get your experience to the fore when needed
There might be plenty of opportunities when your work experience will guide you to make decisions. Don’t shy away. Believe in your strengths and abilities and give it a shot. You, as well as your organization, would be happy with this attitude of yours. There is never going to be a day when one can say I know all, as learning is a continuous journey. You should understand that you are always on par with your peers. Trust your instincts and decisions. Invest in building your strengths and abilities.
Remember to set working hours as early in the comeback as possible
Good to call out your working hours, as early in the come back as possible. This will help your team to understand and adhere to your timings. Also, will help you strike a work-life balance. We tend to do more, again thinking to catch up with all lost time. There is never an end to this. Way out is to make peace with the never-ending ambiguity and complexity at work and doing your best in the marked out work hours.
I believe, this post will be helpful, one way or the other, in making your come-back, more meaningful, and help you perform with a bang by believing in your strengths and abilities. My best wishes!
I have done my Masters in Software Engineering and I work with Qxf2 Services. I have always looked forward to working with the various phases of the software development life cycle. I have been involved with the development and testing of applications inclined to the Banking domain. I am a very curious person. This curiosity has helped me to explore, learn a lot of new technologies, and keep myself updated. Testing thrills me. I enjoy every bit of testing. Qxf2 has motivated me into blogging my work. I am an avid reader. I love travel and connecting with nature. My love for music instills a lot of positive energy and keeps me motivated!