Tuesday 11 May 2021
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Returning to Work After a Long Term Injury

return to work

If you’ve spent a large period of time off work due to injury, the readjustment process when you start work again can be rather daunting and often fraught with challenges. Things like income, benefits and time management are just some of the elements that will change. Below are some tips and expectations if you are returning to work after a long term injury.

Be Organised

Your financial situation will change dramatically when returning to the workforce, as you will be receiving a steady income from an employer, and you may no longer have access to financial benefits you had during your injury. Look at your income protection and superannuation policies to make sure everything is in order, and if you can still receive contributions if your injury affects your work capabilities. Having a look at in regards to your super will show you what your options are if you run into any other problems, and how policies can be changed to better match your new circumstances.

Be Prepared For Change

In today’s fast-paced world, change is inevitable and happens on a constant basis. You have to be prepared for the fact that the workplace you once knew may have undergone substantial change. Technology is a big one and is usually a ‘learn as you go’ situation. You have to be prepared for these things and that you may be playing catch-up for a while before you can place your feet firmly on the ground again. If you don’t prepare you’ll find the experience completely overwhelming, pushing you even further behind.

What Do You Want?

Spelling out exactly what it is you want will help with the transition back into working life. Do you want full-time, part-time or casual wages? Do you want a desk job or something where you can work with your hands? Are you looking for a complete career change? You need to ask yourself these questions straight-up so you don’t get lost in a sea of indecisiveness. It will give you a direction to focus your time and energy on.

Set Goals and Plans

Firstly, make a clear note of your current skill-level. New interests and hobbies can provide new skills, as can gained life experiences or any online courses you did while off work. Everything counts. Once you’ve done this you can make clear goals and plans for yourself and what you want for your future employment. Find avenues you’d like to pursue and compare what you have to offer an employer with what they’re looking for. This will help you to see any gaps in your resume so you can take the right steps to proactively fill them in. Remember though that a serious injury can affect previous skills, so keep this in mind when assessing your current job capabilities.

Leaving work due to injury is hard enough, but what many people don’t think about is how equally difficult it can be to return to the workforce after recovery. Make sure to keep a clear head and don’t rush into anything. It’s a big step that should be approached seriously if you want the best transition and experience for your future employment.

What were the biggest changes experienced by you or someone you know upon re-entering the workforce?