You may have taken a break from your job to pursue higher studies, pregnancy, temporary retirement or for other reasons. Approximately, 4% of employees are found to take about 6 months career break or even more. 73% of women are found to take a job break during pregnancy or for family reasons. On the other hand, men account for 47% for personal reasons. Whatever be the reasons, returning to work after a long career break can seem to be an impossible task. It is quite natural for you to feel anxious about your rusty skills and being a bit nervous. The truth is many things have changed since you were absent from work.
5 effective tips to go back to work after a career gap
- Update CV: Candidates believe that gap present in their resume is likely to ruin their career. It is not a handicap, but to be viewed as something positive. Don’t hide the fact. A break is sure to offer lots of benefits. It allows you to pause and re-evaluate your career and future. While returning to work after the break, you may use the new skills acquired during this time. You may have undertaken a specialization course, enhanced your leadership skills and is quite confident in your approach.
- Evaluate your present situation: It is a wrong approach to join the first job that you come across. Being unsure about the job profile will mean your interviewer will get to understand your uncertainty. Joining an unsuitable job will only make you less confident in your talent and have to look for jobs again. Take out some precious time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Determine your next step. What might be right before you had taken your career break, may not work now.
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- Prepare for the interview: Be fully prepared for all the questions you are likely to be asked by the interviewer, especially about career break. They may be interested to know what you did during this time and new skills you have learned. Be honest in your approach and be clear of your achievements during this time and the reason for returning to work. Customize your answers to better demonstrate how the break can benefit the present role you are applying for. Emphasize your focus, drive and passion.
- Network: Use all existing connections to get back to work after a career gap spend quality time reaching out to family members, friends, clients and previous colleagues. Inform them about your requirements and probably some might be able to help you get a new position. You can also get potential references to support your applications.
- Be confident in your approach: Getting back to work especially after a gap of a few months or years can be nerve-racking. But you are required to be at your best and confident. Otherwise, you are likely to undervalue your abilities and lose potential jobs that you could have easily grabbed. Jot down your strengths and skills and refer to them while searching for desirable positions. This will provide you with much-needed energy and mental strength. If uncertain, get feedback from family members and friends to know your strengths. Avail a refresher course if you feel that you lack updated skills. Do your research and check out the potential employer’s social media channels and website. Also, find out about their competitors, go through the latest research industry trends and industry news.
Returning to work after a long career break can be easy and quick if you follow the above-given tips.