Relaunching 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 getting their support. This is the second blog in a series of three that addresses the three major steps to help you relaunch 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 it is you’re doing. One of the challenges women returning to the workplace –or anyone who is out of work faces is that all of a sudden their loving supporting 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. Such as, make dinner, pick up the dry cleaning, take the dog for walks, take the kids to school, shop for groceries, and take the car in for service. The list goes on and on.
This may seem obvious but women tell us that this is one of the first and most formidable challenges they (and the family) face when the decision is made or even just the discussion of returning to work comes up.
Recognizing that there will be changes which will likely require everyone to take on new/additional responsibilities and addressing them up front through open communication is the best way to minimize frustration and stress.
Let them know how much time you need to work on your job search and what your schedule is. Tell them when you are “not available” even if you are home. You may need to remind them that you’re working when they come to you with questions or requests like they have been used to doing. It may take a while to transition from the habits that have been formed over the years of you being 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 what you want and realistically are able to continue participating in. Once again, you are only one person and 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, in the area of delegating some of the tasks you currently handle to other like your Spouse or children, keep your expectations realistic. It is possible that they will not do the same job you would do. This can be a great opportunity for the family to work together and for all to and appreciate each other.