Re-entering the rat race; before you jump back in

Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Letcher’s 2001 tome, Rich Dad Poor Dad, did a lot to give the term rat race a fresh but yet more ghastly perspective of the term ‘Rat Race’. Considering the depiction, anyone would certainly be looking to ‘escape the rat race’ as the authors put it. But, is it something can we all do, really? It seems then that some people have got to be in that race. Nevertheless, the more familiar or general description of the rat race is the day to day corporate life. Whether it is in business or the more common employment, the rat race is inevitable.

For some of us, who have ‘escaped’ the rat race at any given can testify of the effects, whether positive or negative. It does not matter the duration (though, a weekend off or a few days from work might not qualify here). It could be a maternity leave, a self imposed hiatus or sabbatical, ill-health, a victim of the recession, and even the seemingly ridiculous ones like landing a fortune in the lottery. The reasons for leaving the corporate world abound, whether you choose to or are compelled to. Here are a few things to consider for anyone contemplating a return to the corporate world:

First, take a deep look and analysis at the main reason you left. This is going to be absolutely critical if you are going to have a smooth return. If it is something that needed to be taken care of like your health (physical or psychological), or raising your kids, you might want to ask yourself for instance whether you are healthy enough or get a green light from your doctor. Or, are the children old enough and can I stay a couple of hours away from them. Asking yourself these sorts of questions will form a mental check off and determine whether you are ready.

Secondly, remember that things did not stop because you left. The dizzying rate of change and innovations could easily relegate your career and skill to the shelves of museums. I understand that some folks would just want to sit back and say … “well, I don’t care what goes on there, I just need my break”. This could be perilous if you stand a chance of going back to that same career or industry – unless of course you have more years behind you than there are ahead of you.

Third, do a lot of research about current trends, skill-sets, and requirements of the industry you are intending to re-enter or even for the first time. Having a learning attitude is not enough, get yourself up to speed with industry standards and determine whether you will need a new set of skills or whether you will need to unlearn some things for you to glide in. If you are not just returning from your summer holiday, this is usually the case.

Fourth, unless you are headed back to the same job or profession that you previously occupied or once plied, you will need to reorganize your credentials, update your curriculum vitae, get some fresh referrals, or update your referees.

Remember, your attitude will determine the level of motivation that you conjure up (and you will need lots of it). Keeping a positive mental attitude will ease this process which can actually.

Here is one sure affirmation: “Is the corporate world ready for me?”.

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