Are you thinking of going back to work after having taken a break from your career? Do you still have what it takes to integrate back into the world of work, or do you feel that you’ve lost touch? Is going back into the world of work really what you want for the upcoming stage of your life? A thousand questions…
Taking the decision to return to the world of work after a prolonged break of a few or many years could be an exciting but overwhelming and daunting prospect. Most people looking for a new job or career experience similar feelings of uncertainty, lack of confidence and anxiety. However, below are some useful tips that could be helpful and useful for anyone in this situation.
Assess your current situation and determine what you want out of a job
People decide to take a break from their careers for various reasons. Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that the person going back to work after this break may not be the same person who left the working world. Following this, you can determine what type of job you will be looking for. Are you going to be looking for something different in your future job to your previous career?
Reflect on your career break and update your CV to include your career break
Be open about your career break with future employers. It will possibly one of the first things you will be asked about in the interview. Be honest but keep it brief. Focus instead on the various experiences you had during this time. You may have developed a new skill set, or made new contacts. This could have been achieved through activities you carried out throughout this break such as travelling, volunteer work and furthering your studies.
Refresh your knowledge and skills and familiarise yourself with your industry and network
Volunteering could help ease you back into the working world as could part-time or contract work. This would beef up your CV. Another way to build back confidence is to upskill. Take a refresher or short course related to the job you are looking for. There are countless online and easily accessible short courses today which offer flexibility and fit easily into your life. There is also easy access to information in today’s virtual world, so it is important to take time to research any developments in your industry by reading journals and linking in to your old network of colleagues.
Go for a coffee
Meet ex-colleagues for a drink and a chat. They may be in a position to help you find job opportunities and will help update you on latest developments in the industry. Network also with friends and family, informing them that you are looking for a new job. Opportunities sometime spring out of the most unexpected places.
Be properly prepared for your interview
As mentioned above, your career break is definitely going to be mentioned during your interview so prepare what you are going to say. Keep it brief and talk about it with confidence; highlight the experience and new skills you may have developed which are relevant to the job you are hoping to get.
Lastly, be confident
Focus on the value that you can still bring to any job in both your searching for new jobs and during interviews. Be confident that the experience you have had in your break can make you perform in areas you maybe couldn’t before your break. It is very easy to be demoralised and give up but being focused and having a clear strategy for your return to work can only help you find the next right job for you!