Returning to work after extended sick leave – what was your experience?

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 by Mark BNo comments

If you’ve been off work for an extended period, due to sickness leave, then returning to work can be an anxious time. You may be starting a new job altogether, or perhaps returning to a workplace that you were signed off from due to workplace stress. There are many different factors affecting the experience. At our London recruitment agency, we know it’s a daunting time. We thought it would be helpful to hear about the experiences of other people who have been there before you, and are out the other side.

Jamie’s experience

“I was signed off sick due to workplace stress. Initially I was signed off for 2 weeks but ultimately I had 10 weeks off. There was a very toxic culture in the workplace and this made it a very difficult place to work. My manager was belittling and I would end up paralysed, not knowing what to do for the best.

Before I was due to go back, I was terrified. Nothing had changed, despite HR being involved. I was going back to the same team with the same manager. Every time I thought about going back, I got palpitations and felt so anxious.

In the end, while still on sick leave, I decided that I just couldn’t go back to that. I phoned Love Success and they suggested something I hadn’t considered: temporary jobs in London. I handed in my notice that afternoon. I worked out my notice on sick leave and had my first temping work the following week!

Temping in London was great for building my confidence back up. I discovered that when a workplace is pleasant, I perform at my best.”

Amy’s experience

“I had 6 months off sick due to an accident where I was physically injured. Returning to work felt quite overwhelming, but actually I was really keen to get back to my normal life.

I had a few meetings with my manager prior to my return about how to manage it. We decided on a phased return with shorter hours. I also needed the company to make some adjustments so that I could manage physically, since the accident has left me unable to stand for long.

It took some adjusting, but I love being back at work. In fact, the way my company has managed it means that I feel very loyal to them. They’ve been so supportive and I’m glad to build my career here.”

Antonia’s experience

“I was off work for nearly two years due to a chronic condition. During this time, I was so unwell that I was eligible for disability benefits.

There’s no way I could return to my previous role that involved manual handling and extremely long hours. I contacted Love Success and they helped me to identify my transferrable skills and what roles might be suitable with my health issues.

I now work in a part-time admin role and I’m so much happier. I’m glad I’m no longer reliant on disability benefits, and I’ve found a balance that works for me. I’ve learned to manage my condition and work my life in a way that works for me.”

Get support with finding work after sickness absence

If you need help finding a new role after sickness absence, then we are here to help. Whether you’re looking for temporary or permanent jobs in London, we can help you find the role you are looking for.

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