Reenter The Workforce with these 9 strategic steps and tips after a Career Gap.
Taking a career hiatus is normal, whether because of personal reasons like unemployment or professional ones like a family emergency. Also, following the birth of their child, many working mothers take time off. But there are other reasons why someone may take a career break.
Nevertheless, going back to work after a long absence might be difficult. While some hiring managers and recruiters will be sympathetic to your absence, others might be wary of employing you.
Making the decision to start looking for a job after a long break can be difficult. So, it’s important to find ways to build the confidence to get out of your comfort zone. Have a positive outlook on your situation and frame it properly.
For example, consider how you may help an employer by using all the skills you acquired during your break. Your professional hiatus may wind up being your best asset, so there’s no need to conceal it or make excuses for it. That said, here are some tips to help you prepare to reenter the workforce after a career gap.
- Build Confidence
When job hunting, you will have to exude confidence during interviews. But it’s not always easy to regain confidence when you’ve been out of work for a long time. Nevertheless, you need to develop the right mindset about the situation you’re in and your capabilities. However, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Employment support services like workforce Australia can provide individualized advice, resources, and support to help you confidently take on the challenge of looking for a job.
It’s natural to feel uncertain, especially if you’re concerned that you may have diminished in skill while out of work. Therefore, it’s crucial to remind yourself of your talents and strengths, just like you would tell your child or your closest friend. A career loss can trigger stress, fear, and limiting beliefs, which you can and must overcome. Before facing any interviewing panel, you must believe you are competent and brilliant. But you must find a way of regaining genuine confidence first.
- Update Your Resume
You might also need to update your resume to reflect any new skills you’ve acquired since you last applied for a job and explain your absence to the hiring manager so they can understand why you had a career break. In your cover letter, you can go into further detail about your lengthy absence and everything you accomplished during that period. Explain how it connects to the job you’re looking for and qualifies you for the opening.
Instead of seeing your resume as a summary of your career history and educational background, consider it a marketing tool. Therefore, to increase the effectiveness of your resume, devote less space to the less important aspects and emphasize the experiences and competencies most pertinent to your job search.
- Consider Part Time Work
The road back to work is rarely easy. Many people find it a different experience to go from not keeping a regular schedule to going back into a traditional job. Though going back to work may be something you’re looking forward to, think about how a routine change like that could affect you. In order to ease back into a normal full-time work schedule, you could choose to explore part-time jobs or take contract employment if you believe it might be too much for you to handle.
- Hire A Career Coach or Employment Support Service
Navigating the landscape of job-hunting isn’t easy for everyone. You may not know exactly how to put yourself on the market despite possessing the skills that make you valuable in the job market. In that case, you may want to consider working with a personal career coach or employment support services like workforce Australia providers or a comparable alternative in your region.
A career coach can offer advice on how to submit applications for jobs you’re interested in. They can help you to sell your skills more effectively. Additionally, a career coach may help you narrow your focus, teach you networking skills, and provide guidance on how to use job searches to identify the right opportunities.
Also, consider career returner programs designed to assist people like you in re-entering the workforce after a hiatus. These programs may include employment-related courses and link you with a mentor.
- Create A Focused Job Search
Assessing your current position and concentrating on your career needs is one of the first stages of getting back to work. Examine your qualifications and experience and consider your abilities, passions, and values in a new role. It can help you focus on applying for jobs that support your preferred job tasks and environment.
It’s best not to start looking for jobs without planning. Instead, give yourself some time to think about what you want. Ask yourself, what kind of occupation would make you happy and satisfied? Then think about what you want from a career and why you want to start working again. Consider your needs, whether pay demands, flexible work schedules, or something else.
As you consider what occupations may suit you best at this stage of your life, remember that your skillset may have changed since you last had a job. By concentrating on what you want from a new job and tailoring your job search to match, you should reduce changing jobs frequently and increase the likelihood of enjoying your new position.
- Take Advantage of Networks
While you could choose to take on the job search process yourself, realize that you stand a better chance of finding a job through your networks.
Actively look for ways to broaden your network by becoming a member of professional organizations, attending networking events, and attending conferences related to your field. You may learn new skills or connect with others who share your interests. Creating connections through your network might put you in touch with people who may know about job openings or who themselves are hiring managers seeking new hires. These people can also act as mentors or references as you look for work.
Even if you’ve been unemployed for a long time, you undoubtedly still have contacts you may tell about your intention to return to work. Consider your former employees, your family, friends, and neighbors. The more individuals you notify, the higher the probability that any of them may inform you about job openings they come across.
- Develop An Elevator Pitch
You need to always stay ready when you’re in job-hunting mode. One of the ways you can do this is by developing a compelling elevator pitch. If you wish to tell hiring managers or people in your network about your experience, you should give them your elevator pitch. You should include a summary of your professional background, abilities, and distinct qualities in your pitch.
Note that developing a good elevator pitch requires careful thought and practice. It would be best to practice your elevator pitch until it feels natural to you and projects as confident to others. So, consider doing your practice sessions with a reliable buddy who can give you constructive criticism and help you improve.
- Refresh Your Skills
If you’ve been unemployed for a while, it’s normal to feel like your skills may have deteriorated. Perhaps, that may be true in your estimation. But realize that you can always refresh and upgrade your skills to increase your market value. To do this, you must research your industry to learn as much about it as possible and pick up on any changes that occurred during your break.
You can refresh your skills in various ways. One of the most practical ways to do this is by attending physical or online classes. There are plenty of online programs and courses you can choose to prepare you for the workplace. Enroll in programs that you believe will increase your value in the job market. Then include them in your resume.
Furthermore, you may not need to learn new skills. Some fields and industries don’t change rapidly. So, it could just be the case that you need to refresh your memory on your industry’s operations. To do this, you might want to look over your old textbooks, attend conferences, start reading industry-related news, listen to podcasts, or subscribe to relevant newsletters.
- Prepare For Interviews
You will have to undergo several interviews on your journey back to work. It would be best if you prepared to give yourself a good chance of excelling at interviews.
A strong interview performance will help set you apart from the crowd. It’s crucial to practice responding to inquiries concerning your absence before your interview. Remember to include what you did during your professional break in your response, and consider stating your rationale as well. Show confidence in your responses to let the recruiting manager see you as a strong contender for the position.
You should thoroughly research any firm you apply to, including reading its mission and vision statement, to see whether it fits your values. Additionally, do some background study on the interviewer to find any links or points of commonality you can use to your advantage.
In conclusion, to Reenter The Workforce, you must take these things into consideration to increase your chances
There are many reasons why one may have a career break. Life is full of surprises that may necessitate making such a move. Sometimes, people consciously decide to take a break due to personal or medical issues. Whatever the case, you may eventually decide to return to work, but the journey won’t be easy. Therefore, it would help to ensure that you are mentally prepared to venture outside your comfort zone.
Getting your confidence back will be extremely beneficial in this process. It would help if you clarified what you’re looking for in a job so that you can narrow your options. Consider your areas of strength and interest when defining your ideal job. But keep in mind that having skills alone might be insufficient. You must also be able to sell yourself, which is where confidence comes in. Even in a tough job market, confidence can set you apart from other individuals in the same pool.