5 Tips for Women Returning to the Workplace After an Extended Leave of Absence


If you’ve had to take an extended leave from work, there’s no need to feel ashamed, embarrassed or “left behind.”

Heck, it happens to most women at one point or another in our careers.

Pregnancy. Mental health breaks. You name it.

Look at it this way, though: making your grand return may very well represent a turning point in your life as you work toward the career you want versus just settling.

That said, returning to the workplace after being gone for awhile can be both stressful and overwhelming. As such, here are five key tips for going back to work that’ll make the process so much easier.

Focus on “Looking the Part”

Whether you’re returning to the office or are looking for a new gig, a new wardrobe is more than likely in order. This is not only for the sake of scaling up your professional attire, but also ensuring that you feel comfortable and confident every step of the way. You may be surprised at just how much better you feel when you look the part, so to speak.

Of course, be diligent when it comes to deals to keep some money in your pocket versus going on a wild shopping spree. In addition to in-store sales, check out these Myntra women fashion deals for some much-needed inspiration as you ramp up your wardrobe.

Rethink Your Career Choice

Here’s some food for thought: there’s no better time than your return from absence to second-guess where you want to be career-wise. Rather than dive back into an industry or company that potentially makes you miserable, consider exploring your options or honing your skills and resume during your downtime.

After all, women are making career changes left and right in today’s economy. Rushing into a job you hate doesn’t make much sense if you have some breathing room to refocus your path.

Look Toward Your Network

On a related note, see if you have friends or family who can lead you in the right direction in terms of your next workplace versus blindly applying for jobs. Although the online landscape (think: the likes of LinkedIn or Indeed) is friendly to new hires, it’s much easier to have peace of mind about a prospective employer when you already have connections in place.

Brush Up Your Interview Etiquette

Don’t panic if the idea of interviewing totally freaks you out. Especially if you’ve been away from the field, one-on-ones can be particularly daunting. Just take the time to fine-tune your resume, talk out your skills with a friend and remember important interview tips such as:

  • Speaking clearly and confidently
  • Asking thoughtful questions to the interviewer
  • Making sure your up on industry happenings if you’ve been out of the loop

Don’t Forget About Self-Care

Simply remember that it’s not the end of the world if you struggle with any of the above. Going through the song-and-dance of returning to work can be awkward and uncomfortable, but there’s no need to lose hope. Take the time to focus on yourself and don’t sacrifice your personal well-being for the sake of your professional life: you’ll be okay!

There’s no denying that coming back to work after being gone for so long can be a challenge. That said, it’s certainly not impossible and women of all shape and size do it all the time. By keeping these tips in the back of your mind, you can make the transition smoother as you build toward a career you can truly be proud of.