Get your best start back at work after unemployment

Woman receives bad news over the phone

How to return to work successfully after a long spell of unemployment.

Returning to work after long-term unemployment is a big step. These tips will help make the transition back to work as easy as possible.

Start with volunteer, part-time or short-term work

Volunteer work or a short-term paid job are great steps to a full-time job. They help you:

Make small changes to your routine

Starting a new job can be tiring, so make life as easy as you can. To reduce stress, you could:

  • prepare your lunch and clothes each night, so mornings are easy
  • reduce time on hobbies and meeting friends so you can get an early night
  • make work your main focus until you’re used to your new routine
  • talk to your family/whānau about support you might need, and discuss who will do child-care and household chores.

Use support from work brokers and case managers

Case managers or work brokers help people find and keep jobs. If you’ve had help from them in your job search, you can keep using their support once you’re working.

Approach your case manager or work broker if you need:

Find out more


  • Ministry of Social Development, interview, August 2019.
  • Ministry of Social Development website, accessed August 2019.

Updated 5 Sep 2019