Returning to Work After a Career Break
Career breaks are normal occurrences in the corporate world. Sometimes you plan your break, some other times you are forced by circumstances to take a break. Either way, you will need to prepare yourself thoroughly for a comeback to your stagnated career; otherwise, you will struggle to get your rhythm back. And, of course, as in any other life aspect, some of those you left behind will be skeptical about your return and others will be glad to see you back.
With that in mind, it is understandable if you are currently struggling with a rollercoaster of emotions. Maybe you are very nervous right now, maybe you are excited, maybe you are feeling overwhelmed, or maybe it is a little of all those feelings. But now that you are reading this post, don’t allow anything to distract you from making your dream comeback. We have prepared a list of 5 tips that will help you transition smoothly back into the employment world. Here we go:
1. Take a job that is both fulfilling and gratifying
Having been employed before, you are no longer the greenhorn that you were when you first joined the working class. You now have a clear idea of what you want, which industry offers you the best chance to grow both as a person and as a professional, and you definitely understand under which role you’d thrive most. In a nutshell, don’t be in a hurry to get back. Take all the time that you need to get the best available job opening for yourself and your skills.
2. Be confident
Whichever the reasons that made you take a break from work, don’t be ashamed or feel the need to apologize for them. Were you laid off? Were you retrenched? Did you quit in order to concentrate on raising your kids or looking after your aging or sick relative? Whichever the reason, don’t be embarrassed to tell the interviewer about it. And even if the worst happens and they refuse to hire you for owning your career gap, maybe that will be for the best: They definitely don’t deserve your services.
3. Work on your resume
It is time to polish your resume and update the career gap. While at it, try to display confidence, honesty, and commitment. Let the interviewers see the potential in you and the learning process that you’ve been through during your break.
Maybe you took a break in order to tour the world; now here you are with probably a new language learned or a deeper understanding of an overseas business opening or culture that the company can benefit from.
Or maybe you were nursing your sick parent and that has taught you the art of patience and empathy, which can come in handy when handling different clients. If you went back to school or volunteered with an NGO, mention that in the resume and make your case on how those skills will help the company.
4. Work on your wardrobe and polish your interviewing skills
What is the latest trend in the job market? Will you fit in it as you are or do you need some polishing? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself before you start knocking on office doors. Do your homework well and ensure that you understand any potential questions that may pop up during interviews or the professional dress code that is expected in the market of today. Bottom line: Get up to speed with everything relevant to your job application.
5. Leverage your connections and networks
If you were a high-level business executive before you took the career break, then you probably have a few of your former associates working in high offices today. And even if you were a junior officer, some of your former peers must have grown in the profession and are now in respectable offices. Leverage the connections you have with them. Call them and ask them to offer you job opportunities, or at the very least recommend you to their friends. You have no idea how far those connections can propel you.
If you could become a life coach with your expertise and skills that you’ve acquired from your career break, you can be able to help many people who are struggling with career comebacks. And even if you don’t get your dream job back, at least you will be making a living out of life coaching.