Stop Thinking These 4 Things Right Now If You’re Going Back to Work

You’ve been out of the working world for a while. Whether you took some time off to travel or stayed home for a few years to raise a family, you’re finally ready to pack up that briefcase that’s been sitting in the corner of your closet, polish up your resume, and make your grand entrance back into the workforce.

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There’s only one problem: You feel completely out of touch. You feel like you’ve been out of the loop for so long, there’s no possible way you can dive back in without making an absolute fool out of yourself. And, as if that wasn’t enough, that little voice in your head has turned against you and is planting pesky seeds of self-doubt all over the place.

Heading back to work after taking a break can definitely be a little intimidating. But, I assure you, break or no break, you aren’t the first person to feel a little overwhelmed by the job hunt.

So, take a deep breath, gather your courage, paste on a smile, and get ready to own your job hunt. Oh, and in order to do so? Stop telling yourself these self-deprecating (and totally false) things.

1. “I Don’t Have Any Skills”

You feel rusty—I get it. Sure, you might be a little short on recent experience you can fill up your resume with. But, that doesn’t mean you’re not bringing anything to the table for a potential employer. You definitely still have knowledge, capabilities, and value to provide—even if you haven’t put them to use in an office setting in a few months or years.

So, why do you insist on making yourself feel terrible? Feeling worthless and unconfident is no way to approach your job search. Instead of zoning in on the things you’re lacking, channel your focus onto the things that you offer.

That way, you’ll be able to approach any interview with poise and self-assuredness. Those are qualities that any employer will admire—regardless of how long you’ve been out of the working world.

2. “I’ve Been Gone For Too Long”

Not only do you feel out of practice, but you also feel out of the loop. Since you’ve been checked out of the working world for some time now, it’s easy to think that you’re ten steps behind everybody else—that you have an impossible amount of catching up to do.

Yes, there might be a bit of a learning curve in order to get up to speed on any big changes in technology, tools, and procedures that have cropped up since you’ve been gone. But, I assure you, it’s nothing insurmountable.

Remember, you simply took some time off—you didn’t go to Mars. Invest some time into getting caught up with any major changes in your industry, and you’ll feel back in your prime in no time.

And, not only that, you’ll probably be better informed than many of the people who never actually took a break (but also never bothered to stay updated on current trends). Knowledge is power, my friends.

3. “I Have to Go Back to What I Did Before”

You already feel intimidated by making your grand return to the working world. So, I can understand why you feel like you need to head directly back to the career you left behind. That seems like your only option—particularly when you feel unemployable to begin with.

However, if you weren’t quite satisfied or fulfilled by your past position, there’s no law stating that you have to return to it. In fact, since you’ve pressed pause on your professional life for a while anyway, now could be the perfect time for a career shift!

Take some time to do some research and figure out what you’d like your next steps to be. If you want to stick with what you know? That’s great! But, if you find something that seems like an interesting new challenge that could benefit from your transferrable skills? That’s awesome too!

The point is, don’t trap yourself into thinking that you’re destined to stay stuck in your rut. You’re entitled to just as much career freedom as anybody else.

4. “Nobody Will Hire Me”

I have some news for you: Literally everybody who is going through a job hunt feels this way. It’s not just those of you who have been out of the game for some time.

That little voice in your head can be your worst enemy when you’re looking for a new gig. That voice tells you you’re not good enough, smart enough, experienced enough, skilled enough. Nobody in their right mind would ever want to add you to their team—let alone pay you a decent salary to come onboard. You aren’t worth it.

Sound familiar? Believe me, we’ve all been there. But, it’s time to tell that cold, cruel voice to just shut up already. Because, believe me, you will find somebody who not only hires you, but is thrilled with the opportunity to do so.

Yes, it might take some time (that’s another sentiment that applies to literally all job seekers!). But, eventually you’ll land on your feet and find an opportunity that thrills you—regardless of what that pesky little voice has to say about it.

It’s all too easy (and even natural) to get down on yourself when you’re re-entering the working world after some time off. However, you can’t let those negative thoughts overcome you. Stop telling yourself these four self-deprecating things, and you’re sure to own your job hunt like the polished professional you are!

Written by

Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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