Getting A Job After A Career Break
People take time off and return to their jobs after an agreed period of time, while in some cases they leave completely to explore other frontiers. Sometimes, circumstances compel you into taking a career break, either by virtue of losing your job, being burnout with the job, or other responsibilities; like starting a family, having to care for young children or elderly relatives, or a partner’s relocation. Perhaps you may just need a break to rediscover yourself and clear your head to make you better at what you do. Regardless of the motive, taking a break is hardly a bad idea in contemporary career life.
What Is A Career Break?
A career break is a deliberate or circumstantial time out from a job or away from a familiar field of employment. Often called sabbatical, it affords workers the opportunity to expand their horizons and do something different. Career-wise, a break could help you enhance your skill, sniff out motivation and set you on an entirely new path; that is aside from its personal benefits to your wellbeing and sense of self-worth. However, it is important to carefully consider if and when a career break is right for you. Take time to work out a practicable plan for transitioning in and out of your career break, to make the experience valuable.
After some time away, you may want to jump back to your career. Job-hunt can be exhausting, but it is even more difficult after a career break. Interviewers are always interested in knowing why you left and what you have been doing while away, to determine if you will fit back in. Nervousness and anxiety may also set in, making you worry about the state of your skill, things that might have evolved, your career progression, and if anyone will want to hire you. Knowing how to approach this stage is vital to your return to work life. Below are a few tips that will help ease your transition.
- Appraise your situation: Take time to consider your professional and personal plights. Identify the kind of job you find satisfying and fulfilling. Equally consider if you want a role similar to the one you had before taking the break, or if you want something different. It is also important to determine the reasons why you want to return to work. While considering what you want, make sure you consider your needs; from your salary range to a convenient job schedule. If you secure a job that is not suitable for you, you could find yourself searching for another one in no time. Assessing your situation before deciding what to do will aid your transition. Be open-minded and understand that a lot would have changed since your career break.
- Update your resume: Your break has kept you away from work for a while, take time to update your resume. If you have acquired any skill, undergone any training, or had a side job during the career break, endeavor to capture it and explain how these relate to the job you are applying for. Create your resume to fit the job you are applying for. You may have concerns about the gap that your career break will create on the resume; it is not something awkward. In some cases, your career break is something positive that can differentiate you from other candidates. If you have been out of work for a long period of time, don’t hide it, it may project you like experienced, making you more hirable.
- Learn about current industry trends: If you intend to return to the same industry, take time to research contemporary industry issues; a lot might have changed while you were away. Look out for the different job opportunities and salary ranges available. While knowledge about the industry can help you find interesting opportunities, it may also lead you to another industry with better opportunities. New patterns of doing things might have emerged, reading the latest industry news and familiarizing yourself with the current industrial trend will aid your transition back to work.
- Connect with your network: Reach out to former colleagues to inform them of your desire to return to work, they may be able to help you find employment opportunities. They can also update you on industry trends and provide tips to help with your job search. You can also reconnect with former clients, friends, and partners; they may know of job openings or be able to connect you with someone who could help. This is also a good opportunity to prepare any potential reference that could aid your new job application.
- Enhance your skillset: While on your career break, you should take time to improve your skills, and learn new ones if possible. Though a career break can be an opportunity to take time-of and rest, a lengthy one can offer an opportunity to develop your abilities and competencies. You may consider enrolling in a course; whether in person or digitally. Reading textbooks, listening to podcasts, subscribing to newsletters, and attending conferences are valuable tools you can explore to improve your skill. Try and familiarize yourself with the latest programs and software; they will help you approach job interviews with confidence.
- Search for career return programs: There are numerous career return platforms that can support your return to the workforce. A return to work program normally lasts for weeks and is aimed at men and women who have taken career breaks. Be it for family or other reasons, these schemes provide tailored support experiences to assist you to readjust to the work environment. Career and job sites also offer information and tips on how to get back to work after a long time off. Other platforms provide re-entry programs in form of networking and mentorship opportunities to high carder executives, who are interested in returning to corporate life.
- Approach it with confidence: Regardless of how long you have been away from work, returning can be a very nervy experience. However, it is important that you remain confident in your abilities. When low on confidence, you are liable to under-value what you can bring on board. Outline all your skills and strength and refer to them during job searches. If you are uncertain, ask friends or ex-colleagues to share their feedback on where your strength lies. They may bring some suggestions that you were unaware of. If you are unsure that your skills are up to date, take refresher courses and seek professional input from those in the industry.
Career paths vary, depending on an individual’s goal and aspirations. Taking a break should not necessarily spell the end of your career. So if you are un-eased about returning back to work after a career break, study and apply these tips, they will make your return smooth and successful.