Tips for Women Returning to Work After a Career Gap [Job & Future]
Last updated on 15th Jul 2020, Blog, General
There are many reasons why women decide to take a temporary break from work. It could be related to family as well as for a career. However, caring for a family is the top reason why most women leave the workplace and take a break. Regardless of your reason, if you are willing to get back to work and resume your career, nothing should come in your way.
Since a small gap can create a big difference, it is important that you take the right steps to ensure the procedure is smooth and you are happily back on track.
Whatever purpose you have had for taking a break from your career, getting your job back can be quite daunting. You may even feel emotionally weak and anxious about starting a new job and may worry about rusty skills. Of course, changes in the workplace are inevitable, and it is only natural to feel how you may be feeling.
But before you jump to the top seven tips we have compiled for you, it is important to understand that confidence is the first thing you need to retain to step back into the job market. If you are not sure about yourself, your goals, and skills, it is highly unlikely that others will recognize you either.
So self-realization is the first step, and the second is to set up your career goal once again. These factors will help you keep up your pace and keep you strong during your job hunt.
Here are the top seven tips for women returning to work after a career gap:
1. Be Honest
You don’t have to make up stories for taking a break from your career. You are not the only one who did it, so be honest about your situation. Women take temporary leave for various domestic or career-related reasons. These can be both voluntary or involuntary motives, but the point is, to be honest about it. Just try to convey how the reason for taking a break from work is irrelevant to why you are seeking a job opportunity.
Employers are, however, pretty interested in questioning you about it. So be prepared and stay as transparent as you can with your responses. It is important to put everything in a positive light, and why taking the break was important.
Even if your reason was just to get a real break from work, explain how you took advantage of that break to learn a new skill like Cisco ICND1 certification followed by ICND2 certification, or worked in a local shelter, trying to save young lives, or just anything. The point is to prove that your time away from work was for an important purpose.
2. Demonstrate Confidence
their’s no reason for you to be embarrassed or apologetic. If your purposes were to take care of aging parents or young children, that’s rather admirable. If you took a break to gain a certification or went back to school; even better!
The best part is that you are getting back to work and it could be the best decision you could make now. Do not lose your self-confidence. In fact, it’s the most important thing you need right now to stand capable and qualified for the most suitable job.
3. Work On Your Resume
The confidence you are ready to demonstrate should appear on your resume as well. So before you are set out to the job market again, rework your resume and include all the important details that make it more relevant.
Start off with your research on what employers want. Include everything in your resume that you believe perfectly lines up with your experience.
Go and write your resume from scratch if need be. Make sure it accentuates all the positivity and strength you can offer as an employee. Moreover, don’t forget to add all the accomplishments that you may have achieved during your gap.
4. Prepare Well For The Interview
The dynamics of the industry change in a span of months, let alone years. If you don’t prepare for the interview according to how they are carried today, you can be perceived as outdated. To match the pace you may have lost during the gap, you need to speed up. Keep your specific industry in mind and do your homework.
Find out the type of questions that you are expected to face and prepare accordingly. The more aware you are about what you are going to experience, the more confidence you can put in your answers as well as body language.
5. Rebuild Your Network
It can be difficult to stay in touch with your connections during your career gap. But now that you have decided to return to work, this is a good time to get back your connections and upgrade your professional network. Whether you want to do it online or in person, reconnect with the people who can help you find better job opportunities and refer you to their workplace.
LinkedIn is also a great platform to re-engage with your associates for career opportunities.
6. Check Career-Returner Programs
Fortunately, there are great career-returner programs that could help you resume work with a bang. Deloitte is a prominent name in the market that offers such schemes. Other similar organizations offer a 20-30 week program for both men and women who wish to return to work after a career break. The scheme is aimed to offer customized experience and support to people to help them readjust to work.
Do your research and find a program that works perfectly for you.
7. Design Your Career Path
If you have taken a career break, you are not alone. In fact, you can’t even begin to imagine how common this practice is. Of course, people have their reasons and of course, different career ladders that they wish to climb at their own pace.
You may have a different goal and setting your own pace is important. So if you are determined about jumping back to a career after a break, planning your career path is important. Take one step at a time but do not accept a job you believe is too demeaning for your career, experience, and credentials.