Whether you’ve been out of the workforce for one year or 15, getting back in the swing of things can be tricky. After living through a global pandemic for the last two years, career breaks are more common than we think.
Whether staying home with your newborn baby or taking time off for personal wellness, taking a career break can be very beneficial and even essential for many. But no matter the many benefits, employment gaps are still frowned upon by some employers.
Let’s review some tips to get you prepared and confident to re-enter the workforce.
Assess career goals and needs
Before you hit the ground running and start applying for jobs, clearly think about what you want and consider why you’re re-entering the workforce. What is your current commitment level? Does it require full-time or part-time? Are you looking to return to your previous role before leading the workforce? Is there a different field or role you would like to try?
During your assessment, reflect on your break. Think about what accomplishments you made during your time away. Look at what skills you’ve gained that could be put on your resume from any new hobbies or classes you’ve participated in.
Relearn the industry
Upon your return, you might notice not everything is as it once was, especially if it’s been some time since your last job. You’ll need to refamiliarize yourself with the industry and rediscover what job opportunities exist.
Recruitment agency – To ease your transition back into the workforce, consider seeking the help of a recruitment agency. A technical recruiter can provide resume help, interview preparation, and access to the hidden job market.
Networking – Reach out to those in your network to learn about job openings or industry events such as conferences or seminars. Rely on your connections to give advice and help you get caught up on any new lingo or industry trends you should know of.
Freshen up your skills
In an industry like information and technology, it’s common practice to constantly upskilling and find new skills to add to your repertoire. As you begin your job search, you might notice new programs or skills you’ve never heard of.
Take on temp gigs
Temporary work can help you test the waters without a long-term commitment, especially if entering a new industry. The flexibility will help you make the transition back to the workforce smoother and help you build up your work experience.
Think of it as a try before you buy.
Look for volunteer positions in your community. Even if unrelated to your field, it can be a great way to ease your mind back into work mode. No matter what you do, volunteer work can build valuable, and transferable skills employers look for in candidates.
You need to update your personal branding to break into the workforce. Unfortunately, employers might feel skeptical about hiring someone with such a significant employment gap which is why branding is essential.
LinkedIn is one of the best ways to promote your brand and launch yourself back into the workforce. Have an active presence to re-establish yourself in the industry and
In the Experience section, LinkedIn has an option to add a career break with 13 reasons to
choose from. Including this on your profile demonstrates transparency which employers always appreciate.
Explain your career break
If you’ve had a lengthy break in your career, you will need to give your reasoning to potential employers. Provide your explanation in your cover letters and expect to re-explain when the topic arises during interviews. Some possible reasons include:
- Stay-at-home parent
- Taking care of a sick loved one
- Travelled the world to broaden skills in your chosen discipline
- Took time off to improve wellness
Keep your explanation brief and shift the conversation to what you accomplished during your break.
Live Assets is a boutique IT Staffing/Recruiting firm specializing exclusively in building IT teams of excellence for the Information Technology sector.
We are a small, but productive team that works closely together and has had a 96% success rate for the past number of years!
We have a diverse number of clients and industries and focus on both full-time and contract I.T. opportunities.