Returning to work after a career break can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been out of work for 12 months or even 12 years, getting back in touch with your professional self isn’t always easy. But the good news is we’re here to help.
Here are a few tips to make the transition a little bit smoother.
Always explain why you were on a break
Don’t try to pretend that your career break didn’t happen. Hiring managers and recruiters will find a massive gap in your job history suspicious if you do not explain it. Include a short description about why you took a career break but keep it brief. This will put their mind at ease.
Brush up on your skills
If you’ve been out of work for over a year then you will need to make sure that your skills are up to date. Research any new social media channels or tools that have become popular in your absence and find out more about them. It might even be a good idea to take an online refresher course. This will make returning to work so much easier.
Update your social presence
During your career break, you may have let things like your Jobbio profile or LinkedIn account become stale. Refresh all your pages with updated information and interests. It’s crucial that you are active and engaged with the industry. This will be important for potential employers.
Network, network, network
Before your career break comes to an end, get back in touch with old colleagues and contacts. This will help you to reconnect with your professional self and also allow you to figure out what has changed in the industry (if anything!). Old coworkers may also be able to help you find a job. It always pays to ask around.
Know what you want
After a career break, your priorities may have changed slightly. If you’re returning to work and looking for a job that allows you to work remotely or be more flexible in your working patterns then you need to be aware of that. Figure out the hours that you are happy to work and the conditions that you would like and work from there.
Having a career break does not mean that you are suddenly behind on the career ladder. Remember all the experience that you’ve gained before taking time off as well as all the new skills that you will have learned since then. Be confident in your capabilities. You’ve got this.