By Teri Hockett
Re-launching your career is a major change in your life. Last week you cleared the calendar, this week you will learn tips on sharing your news with the family and enlisting their support. This is the second blog in a series of three that addresses the three major steps to help you re-launch your career.
Step 2- Talk to your family
The next thing you need to do is sit down and have a conversation with your family about what you’re doing. One of the challenges faced by women (or anyone who is out of work) returning to the workplace – is that all of a sudden their loving, supportive family turns into one of the biggest obstacles to their success.
The reason is simple. If you’ve been home for a few years or even a few months you are the one who is expected to do all of the things they have not had to do for themselves. You make dinner, pick up the dry cleaning, walk the dog, drive carpool, shop for groceries, and take the car in for service. The list goes on and on.
This may seem obvious but women tell us all the time that this is one of the first and most formidable challenges they (and the family) face when the decision is made to return to work. Even just the discussion of returning to work can wreak havoc in the household.
The best way to minimize frustration and stress is to recognize that there will be changes which will likely require everyone to take on new/additional responsibilities. Address these changes up front through open communication.
Let them know how much time you need to work on your job search and what your schedule looks like. Tell them when you are “not available”, even if you are home. When they come to you with questions or requests like they are accustomed to doing, you may need to remind them, perhaps with a pre-arranged silent signal, that you are working. It may take a while to transition from the habits that have been formed during the time you have been at home. Letting them know and being clear about when you are and are not available will make it easier for everyone.
By the way, if you are someone who has developed a full social or volunteer calendar since the last time you worked in the business community, you will need to take some time to assess which commitments you can realistically maintain. There is only one you, and your plate can only hold so much, so you will likely need to make some choices. Be sure to have a similar conversation with all your friends and others who depend on you.
Finally, as you delegate some of your current tasks to others like your spouse or children, keep your expectations realistic. It is possible, even likely, that they will not do the same job you would do. This can be a great opportunity for the family to learn from one another and appreciate each other.
Next week: Create Your Own Career Management Team.
About the Author
About What’s For Work?
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