I am currently trying to get back to work after being out for about 6 years due to my bipolar…..are there any suggestions or past experiences you can share about how best to be prepared for going back to work? Thank you for your help.
Funny this post should come about today. This past February I returned to work full time for the first time in three years. I was pumped, super excited to get back in the game. When I took the job, I needed it. Life’s circumstances demanded it, but once I started the need was no longer there. But I WANTED to do it. I wanted to be back in the working world.
And at first, it felt great. I was working down town, working for a program that was perfect for me, keeping homeowners out of foreclosure, and I’ve been through foreclosure, so it felt good. But if I have to be honest, I think I jumped into it too fast.
IF I had to do it all over again, I’d have chosen a part time job to start off with. After you’ve been out of the work force for so long, it is very difficult to jump right in and start working a full 40 hours.
Change is difficult. And when we force a big change on ourselves, it’s even harder. I’m not saying you can’t do it, I’m just suggesting you start small.
What I learned in the last few months is that I’m not 100% ready for a full 40 hour work week. I have other responsibilities and priorities that need to be taken care of first. I actually put in my two weeks this morning. It was a hard decision, but after talking to my therapist, husband and PDoc, I know it was the right decision.
The way I see it is, you can’t just go from not running for three years to running a 10K right away. You need to work up to it. Start small, maybe just a mile at first. Because what’s going to happen if you try that 10K right off the bat? You’re going to fall. You’re not going to be ready. You’re not going to be prepared. And you aren’t going to be in the same shape you were three years ago when you were running full time.
I’m not sure that makes sense. And as I said, I’m not by any means telling you not to go back to work. I’m just saying, if I could give just one tip about returning to work, it would be to start SMALL. Take your time and make sure you’re really ready and take care of yourself through the entire process. Because that is the MOST IMPORTANT thing.