Returning to Work after a Career Break
More people are taking career breaks these days and behind everyone, you’ll find different personal reasons for it. At the foundation, the reason is actually simple- we all need a break from work once in a while. Isn’t it beautiful how more people are coming to realize its benefits?
A career break is a period outside employment and there are many reasons people go on one. As important as a career break is, it still takes some major deliberation to go for it. Just like yours must have taken and now it’s time to return to work.
Reasons Why People Go on Career Breaks
Most times they are voluntary. There’s the maternity leave; where a pregnant woman takes some time close to her baby’s due date and after her baby’s birth to take care of it.
Sometimes, she takes the entire period of conception off especially if she is at risk of any complications like miscarriages. Other times, a parent has been known to take time off to train their children through infancy. Or yet, a mother may decide to stay off work until she has conceived the number of babies she wants.
Some family complications may require a parent to put off work to contribute more time to the health and growth of their child, emotionally, mentally, physically, or otherwise.
Some take career breaks to pursue other personal visions and fulfilments. Things like extra academic pursuits, training, travelling, vacations, etc.
Another set simply wants to rest for a time from the work overload. A simple break, in every sense of the word.
And then, there’s the set that will take a career break because of an illness. They need time to manage their illness and recuperate. Sometimes, the sick one is family and they lay off work to look after such.
Like we said, career breaks are usually intentional but not always. Some people are forced on a career break when they are laid off from their jobs and have a hard time finding a replacement. The long space between jobs can make you look very inefficient.
Duration of Career Breaks
Nobody sticks a pin on the exact number of months that make a career break. Principally, a break starts from 4 weeks though some are taking shorter breaks these days.
On the same scale, most companies give the 3-6months deal. Others go through for a year and then extra. Some people have been known to take longer breaks.
All these don’t matter except that, the longer breaks you have in your resume, the more you’ll have to give. Stick with us and we’ll help you solve that.
Returning To Work After a Career Break
Being anxious as you prepare to resume work after a career break is very reasonable. Many people are enlightened when it comes to the topic of career breaks but there is still some prejudice on the topic therefore your future employer wants to be sure you’re capable or trustworthy enough to be offered that employment and this brings us to our first point:
Have Answers Ready
“Why do you have a space in your resume?”
This could be the question that makes or breaks your chances for that employment. It could be the difference you need for that extra glitter to enhance your appeal. So taking a lot of time to contemplate your answer and craft it in a way that makes you appealing should not be ignored.
“What was the reason for your career break?”
If you’re thinking that this question might not come then you are already in error.
We want you to know that there’s no reason for you to be anxious about what to say or decide you need to lie about the reason.
How to overcome this question is to brand your answers to fit your purpose this early. Think about your reason for the break. Now decide on a narrative that is calm, reasonable, and enhances your opinions of yourself. It doesn’t matter the reason, it’s how you tell it that does.
There are diverse reasons for your work
For instance, if you took a break to raise your children, you could talk about your values for family.
If your career break was to travel: what motivated your trip and the knowledge you gained on it is a nice area of discussion.
If you went to training or study: yes, it’s all about the improvement you’ve gotten, the events or things you noticed that sponsored your decision, your certification, the conclusion of these events, etc
Note that your answers need not be burdened with excess details.
Just one word it is. But this is the fuel that will help you run. Your experiences during your career break will help you understand this part better. Would you like to go back to your previous job? Maybe the same industry but a different one? Perhaps, a different industry altogether.
The decision is yours. Knowing what satisfies you will help you decide faster and the break from work should have given you a clearer mind to review and take steps. Different people return to work after a career break and still make a good story of their life. Yours will not be different. All they did was give it a good deal of planning.
Another advantage of good planning is that it will also give you a good plot for your answer to why you have/have taken a career break.
We live in an ever-progressing society. Once you have affirmed your decision to return to work. The research comes into play.
What has changed since you left? What do you need to improve about yourself? What’s valuable in the market right now? Do you have it?
Depending on how long you were gone, you’ll need to do in-depth research that will help you become current, thereby appealing.
To do this effectively, the next point is important.
Contact Your Network
This is the reason why everyone should have contacts. Friends still in the workforce, contact at your previous workplace. These are people you should reach out to at this point you’re ready and make your decision known.
They’ll help you if you missed any critical information during your research. They could also keep an ear out for job opportunities. They could refer you for in-house openings and much more.
Advancement in Skill
Learn something new. You should. You must. You need an edge for the competition out there. These days you can learn basically anything online.
Take some time to take online courses, and teach yourself something new. These skills should be in line with your proposed business plan.
Paid courses should not be left out either. Especially from reputable sources like Hubspot, etc. Get certifications too. None can be a waste.
Not just about increasing your job appeal, it will also help boost your confidence.
Be Strong, Bold and Confident
Anxiety easily besets us when we’re faced with the unknown. Especially when it’s so closely related to us as our future. It makes us ask a lot of questions we’ll never be able to know the answer to unless we actually take steps.
To situations worse, those questions serve only to kill our self-esteem
You must be strong. Truth, is, it won’t be easy but whatever important thing ever came easy? You’ll need to prove yourself to everyone.
Even if you used to be at the top of the pile, the lead, right now, you’ll need to do so again. This is time to prove you’re still needful and at the top of your game so go for it!
You must be Bold: You’ll get your chance, yes you will. The competition or the change you’re seeing right now may look like they were made just to keep you out but that’s not true.
Take those steps at improving yourself and you’ll get your chance. Don’t let anybody, even yourself tell you otherwise.