The fact is, career breaks happen. Whether you’re a new parent, traveling the world, caring for a family member, or struggling to find employment, there are times when a long absence from work is unavoidable. Remember, taking a long break is not an unusual occurrence and each person’s career ladder is unique. If you are nervous about jumping back into the workforce after taking some time off, keep these tips in mind so you can get into the right mindset to find your next opportunity.
1. Consider Upskilling.
Take advantage of today’s ever-changing technology and see if there is a way you can upskill before applying for a job in the field. Upskilling will not only make you a better candidate, but it will also improve your confidence. Follow industry leaders and groups on LinkedIn to find out what skills you might need to improve on (and to network with individuals in your field). Seek out newsletters, browse online discussions, and/or take classes to polish your existing skills.
2. Prepare for “the question.”
Any hiring manager worth their salt should ask what you were doing during your absence. Take time to reflect on what you have learned during this time, and find the ways that your activities can support your potential position. For example, if you volunteered your time in the community or participated in a work experience program during your time away, potential employers will find this very worthwhile. No matter the reason for your extended leave from the workforce, keep your explanation brief.
3. Update your resume.
Most likely your resume needs updating since you have been away from the workforce, so now would be a good time to update it. (And don’t forget to tailor your cover letter!) When updating your resume, list any new skills you have picked up and new technologies you have learned. It’s also a good time to make sure your contact information is up to date. Tip: Consider using Temporary Solutions’ services to help you update your resume and prepare you for interviews.
4. Research the job market.
Look into the current job opportunities in your industry. Get an idea of which positions you qualify for and the salary range for the roles that are of interest to you. Despite your long break, consider your education, experience, and skills when you’re determining what you are worth.
5. Reach out to your network.
Let your former coworkers, supervisors, and others know that you are returning to the workforce. If you feel comfortable, ask your connections for advice and tips on getting back into the workforce! You never know where your next opportunity might come from.
No matter how long you’ve been away from work, getting back into the workforce can be nerve-wracking. The most important thing is that you remain confident in your skills and abilities. Create a list of your skills and strengths and keep them in mind as your do your job search—this will help boost your energy and self-esteem.