Whether you’ve taken some time off to start a family, travel or look after a loved one, returning to the workforce after a break from your career can be daunting. However, if you prepare in advance the transition should be a breeze.
Before you dive back into the job hunting frenzy, consider the following issues:
Should you continue in your previous career?
Perhaps you are looking for something less demanding that will allow you to manage your work-life balance better? Maybe you’ve discovered new interests while away from work, and would like to pursue those in a professional capacity? This could prove to be the perfect opportunity to make a change in your career.
How do you explain the gap in your employment history?
Future employers and recruiters are sure to comment on any gaps in your CV. You can respond to this by focusing on your skills and strengths instead of your work history – change the layout of your CV to be more functional, rather than chronological, highlighting your skills. For the years that you weren’t working state simply that you were a stay-at-home parent or travelling. Remain positive and unapologetic about your choice.
Getting back in the game
Look at the options
It may be easier to initially take on a part-time job or a volunteer role to help ease yourself back into the workplace. The experience gained in a less demanding role is just as valuable in the long term and will prove your commitment to future employers. You can also network and make new industry contacts during this time.
Knowledge is power
Read as much industry-related material as possible to find out about any new trends, technology and developments.
Make your contacts work for you
Dust off your address book and get in touch with friends and former work colleagues. Let them know that you are looking for work. Call in outstanding favours if you need to, and network, network, network. Remember, it’s often more about who you know than what you know…
Update your skills
Find out what skills are in demand. Investigate possible training courses you can complete to update your skills and knowledge; sometimes a brief certificate course is all that’s needed.
Value your experience
Consider the skills you have gained since you left the workforce. Many of these skills may be useful, i.e. money management, time management, and negotiating.
Get professional advice
Contact recruiters and call them to discuss your options. They will probably ask you for an introductory interview and a copy of your CV. You could also make an appointment with a career coach and ask them for advice on the best route you should take.
The longer you’ve been away, the scarier it’ll be to start a new job, but if you remain confident and equip yourself with the right skills and knowledge you should be back in the workplace in no time!