No matter the reason, whether personal or professional, you decided to take a sabbatical from your job. Perhaps this was only for a few weeks or a few months. However, you always knew you’d return to your job, and the time has finally come.
Maybe you chose to stay in touch with your colleagues and your boss, even if you didn’t contribute any work yourself. Perhaps you’ve been out of the loop entirely. How do you get back into things after such a long break?
First, take it slow. If you were gone for any significant amount of time, then undoubtedly your boss or manager assigned someone to temporarily fill in for you. That should prevent you from returning to hundreds and hundreds of unread emails and a mountain of paperwork. Even if you didn’t have one temporary assistant, others at the office had to pull the slack while you were away.
That said, there may be a bit of a backlog for you to address. Don’t expect to get all this done on your first day back, or even your first week back. You’re probably not used to working, and so it may feel like it takes twice as long to get tasks done. Be patient with yourself and don’t push too hard at the beginning.
Instead, make a list of what you have to get done. Organize them by which are the highest priority and start with those. As you move down the list, you can tackle the lesser priority items. This prevents you from skipping any work and missing deadlines.
Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Your coworkers probably understand your workload much better since they were shouldering some of it. They will probably not mind stepping in and taking some of the weight off your shoulders as you adjust to being back at work.
Remember to avoid overstressing yourself. You took time off for a reason. Don’t bring your work home with you, and don’t refresh your work inbox constantly. Take your evenings and weekends to refresh and eventually that mountain of work will start to shrink.