Summary of Live Session on 'How to be Ready to Return to Work'

Yesterday we conducted our first Live Session - a community chat - on Sheroes on ‘How to be Ready to Return to Work’, and it was an amazing experience. We loved interacting with you and feel enriched for having the conversations that your questions sparked. This below summary is our way to close the loop on the chat, but also a way to open a door for more such conversations that we will start very soon.
“One big reason for falling out of confidence is once out of work, we are also out of the ‘mode of thinking work’."
Returning to work is no easy thing. Our memories are short-lived, our temperament is adaptable, and beyond a point we cannot remember what it was like when we lived a different life. We start thinking that phase of our life is beyond our grasp, that we have changed beyond repair, and that our professional worth has eroded with every passing day. First of all, we want to say that it is completely normal to feel this way. As Deepa explained, one big reason for falling out of confidence is that once out of work, you are also out of the ‘mode of thinking work’. This means not having access to the knowledge, resources, people, news that being part of an organisation brings or not being called upon to think and execute tasks with deadlines, team coordination etc - all of this usually affects what we remember of our jobs, it affects our work networks and relationships, it affects the confidence with which we give suggestions & ideas about work.
It is very important to know that this seeming lack of confidence is not unique to you or a result of a personal deficiency, but is a natural challenge that one has to overcome. Building awareness of what and why these challenges are, and using a step by step plan to tackle each one is the way to go about it. And everything that you will do along the returnship journey, from evaluating your skills to your family support and infrastructure is a step in the right direction that will lead you closer to your goal and towards confidence.
“You have some unique skills emerging from your Education as well as Life experience.”
Many of the people who asked specific questions on the kind of roles they could get had unique life experiences and backgrounds, that opened up new opportunities - examples, someone who said that they had traveled the world before the age of 40 and another who had been a Radio Jockey. A few had interesting and diverse backgrounds such as experience in the social sector, or a background in environmental studies, and a couple had unique constraints, such as that of living in another country. While we did give some specific guidance, if more of you are reading this and did not get to ask your question yesterday, we would suggest that you look closely at the unique skills that your experiences have given you and consider enhancing or using those to get meaningful and interesting work. For example, an RJ is usually skilled in communication, thinking on her feet and persuasion - all of these lend well to Sales, and also to content creation. Someone living in Indonesia and wanting to work in marketing, could very well either enhance her Digital Marketing skills to work remotely or tap into the thriving startup ecosystem in Indonesia itself. Opportunities are opening up across sectors, with new and interesting business models being tested. Keep your eyes and ears and most of all, your mind open.
“First of all, understand which are the skill sets needed today. Then work towards acquiring them.”
Linked to the above set of questions were the ones around upgradation of skills. We were happy to see so many of you actively asking whether existing skills need to be upgraded. And the answer is, they very well might. Work today is changing at a very fast pace, with new skills coming in, and even the people who are currently in the workforce are needing to upgrade their skills. They have the benefit of being associated with organisations that can provide this skilling to them, but they also have the disadvantage of not having the time to pursue the upskilling as well as is perhaps needed. You have that advantage, of time. As Deepa said, the first step is to take stock, refresh your own memory about your past work experience. Next is to see what is happening in the market today by talking to people, networking, going through job boards - this will give you an an idea of the kind of skill sets needed today. Then you can do specific preparation for the additional skills you want to work towards.
One of the biggest values of upgrading skills, as Deepa went on to explain, is to get us into the work think mode where we are able to exercise our mental muscles, get the intellectual juices flowing, dust out our old work networks, start reading on what our industry is going through - all of which makes us more employable, and also helps us understand ourselves better - our areas of strength, interest and potential re-entry into the workforce. It is also the most productive use of the wait time, and could spark new creative ideas to change the trajectory of one’s career.
“Once you do a self assessment on readiness, especially work hours, infrastructure, family support, then you would need to take a leap of faith and trust that it will work out.”
There were a lot of questions on aspects of readiness, on planning ahead, on family support, on confidence even. And there is a lot to be said on each of these topics. Planning is key. As we have repeatedly said, getting back to work is not easy. Whether it is doing the rigorous analysis of yourself and your support systems before starting out, or dealing with the changes in life, expectations, time spent with your child after starting your job, all of these are clear milestones that one needs to be aware of, and have a game plan for. Family plays a huge role, and they can be great pillars of emotional support as well as for tangibly taking care of your child. There is merit to to positively engaging with them too on your aspirations and getting their buy-in. All of these forms of Readiness and preparation constitute such a vast space, that one chat session does not do justice to it. We will be using the next couple of weeks to talk about some of these aspects.
“We hope the answers were helpful and will hopefully take you a step closer to your goal.”
While a detailed engagement on some of these aspects await us in the next few weeks, we do hope this chat itself was useful and helped get you started on some of the thinking that will bring you closer to your goals. Remember, the first step is the hardest, but it is the most crucial. In your case, this means making your mind up about getting back to work, accepting the roller coaster it will be and resolving to work towards it step by step. And we at FlexiBees are here to help you in every way possible - help you and other women find their way during this tough time, the way back to balance and fulfilment.
If you are interested to explore flexible work options with FlexiBees clients, register yourself with your detailed experience, skill-sets and resume at
We are not sending individual responses for registrations. If you are shortlisted for any role based on your experience, our recruitment team will get in touch with you.