5 Tips for Returning to the Workforce After a Long Break

May 20, 2021

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, remember these tips 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 (and network with individuals in your field). Seek newsletters, browse online discussions, and/or take classes to polish your skills.

2. Prepare for “the question.”

Any hiring manager worth their salt should ask what you were doing during your absence. Reflect on what you have learned during this time, and find ways 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 determining your 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.

Returning to the workforce can be nerve-wracking no matter how long you’ve been away from work. Most importantly, 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.

Written by: Brianne Tomko

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