If you left the workforce for a long period of time, chances are it was due to a major change in your life. Perhaps you left to have a child or to care for a relative. Maybe you were sick or injured or just needed some time away to focus on other important areas of your life.
Whatever your reasons for leaving, returning to work is also a major change. It is easy to become so focused on doing your new job well that you lose a sense of balance in your life. Here are some tips for retaining work/life balance now that you are re-entering the workforce:
Remember why you decided to return to work. Whether you need the money, enjoy the social aspect or simply like to work, staying focused on your purpose for working can help ease the transition. Set goals for yourself - monetary or personal - and focus on reaching them.
Find a job that matches your lifestyle and needs. If you have a new child in the family or still need to help take care of a family member, part time jobs give you more flexibility with your time. If you must be available at certain times of day, look for jobs with odd hours. If you have physical limitations, look for jobs that accommodate them. Don't accept a job that doesn't fit your needs.
Look for jobs that give you personal satisfaction. Job stress can be lessened by doing work that is important to you. Try to find work with an organization whose mission you believe in or whose causes you support. A sense of purpose can carry you through stressful times.
Lean on your friends outside of the job. Talk with someone if you feel anxious about returning to work or if you face difficulties adjusting at first. They can encourage you and perhaps offer a respite from focusing so much on your work.
Take care of yourself. Be sure to treat yourself right. Eat well, get plenty of sleep and make exercise a regular part of your life. Your return to work will go much smoother if you are in the best possible shape.