Return of a Rejuvenated Heroine
After a career break, many people and especially women feel disconnected not only from their professional self but actually feel alienated from many habits of the business arena too. Instead of investing a large amount of time and energy to explore what different weaknesses are, we, the positive psychology practitioners, prefer to focus on strengths and individual’s unique areas that can bring success and happiness to their lives. If you are one of those who feel concerned about how to go back to business life after a break or a gap in your career, your first and foremost task is to start noticing hundreds of hidden gems out there as “opportunities” and start mining them:
- List a summary of your skills and expertise areas. Remember your previous appraisal results, feedback, even small complements you received from other colleagues, team members, both officially and unofficially. Write them down. The positive projection of the past will always help to construct a new bright future
- Believe in the power of positive self-affirmation and practice regularly on a daily basis.
- Catch every single learning moment that touches your life. By this, I mean everything that directly and indirectly contributes to your development process. Read business articles, watch interviews, listen to business audio books and take online courses. Take classes. Listen to others. Every single day, do something in discipline, for the purpose of learning.
- Identify mentors, people you can take as role models. You can listen to their interviews, videos, read their biographies and learn about the steps they have taken, the paths they followed. Talk to the women who went through similar challenges as you did.
- Join free events, gatherings and different networks. Be there in person, not only in the context of social networking. Don’t passively wait to receive a feedback for the CVs you forward to various companies. Make sure that people know what you do.
- Communicate with different people even when they don’t work in the same area as you do. The whole world is a giant web of networks. We all constantly learn from each other. Our antennae should be in alert mode.
Two examples of self-limiting statements are:
- I am not equipped. Business life is changing very rapidly – Change is inevitable. What is your plan to equip and re-equip yourself? Did you start exploring the areas you really love working on, the areas your society, community or your environment needs, areas you are really good at? Is any business willing to pay for your knowledge, skills and abilities?
- I don’t know what I am good at anymore and whether or not my skills are out-of-date or not – You can be a specialist in one area with in-depth knowledge and with many years of accumulated experience. But new business reality requires more agile and flexible individuals to be adaptable to different sets of skills.
Your business language doesn’t need to always fit in the classical and traditional business terminology. Learn new skills, which can be harmoniously linked to each other.
My 26 years of Human Resources experience as a woman taught me that there are lots of unique contributions you can bring to work life as a woman and a mother, to name a few; empathy, collaboration, sincere communication, compassion, conflict resolution, mediation skills and multi-tasking.
Remember even people who do not have any career gaps may struggle to find a job and they do.
Each woman is a heroine who has the innate capacity to uplift her own life and others as well. Her return to business life after a break, can simply be described as a rejuvenation process, a period of self-reflection, intellectual self-investment and positive change. All she needs to do is to refocus on the adjectives “new and possible” instead of “outdated and helpless”.
Article by: Gamze Hakli Geray
Psychotherapist and Counsellor. Author of the book “Dissonance or Harmony” My Personal Odyssey to Inner Peace and Beyond. Perspectives about Logic, Emotions, Music, and Self-Discovery