Getting back to work or restarting your career after a break is not an easy task. People might take career break for numerous reasons. For instance, many women put a long gap in career after giving birth. During the pandemic many people fell sick for months and were obliged to take career breaks. It's not impossible to get back where you left off. There are a lot of factors to consider restarting your career. You need to have a specific strategy based on your industry. However, some general rules apply to everyone. Let's have a look.
10 Strategies to Get Hired after a Career Break
Understand your situation
Situational awareness is an important aspect. You shouldn’t jump right off to the first job you get. Many people jump to the first offer they get without assessing its suitability and growth opportunities. It's better not to conform yourself to a role you might not be sure about. Instead, you should take your time and search for jobs that are relevant to your expertise and industry. That way you won't have to compromise your choice as well as growth prospects.
Include the break in your CV
Many people look at breaks as a career drawback. As a result, there’s a strong urge to hide the break from potential employers. We don’t recommend this at all. You should include the break in your CV. Rather than considering it as an issue, think of it as a step back and re-evaluation prospect. You might have genuine reasons like raising a kid or personal shortcomings. You might have even picked up new skills during the break. The key point is, show your break with appropriate reasoning. It will not hamper your career prospect going forward.
This is another aspect that many people don’t utilize enough. Realistically speaking, there aren’t jobs lined up for you to take right away after a break. Therefore, you need to utilize the existing connections that you might have. Try to reach out to your old friends, colleagues, and/or relatives, who are working in the same industry. Look for opportunities for new opening. Many companies do internal recruitments based on recommendations. Try and generate leads from your connections. You can also use your network as a reference for potential positions.
Prepare for the Interview
You should prepare an impeccable answer regarding your career break. It is quite unavoidable that you will be asked about it. You should highlight the genuine reason and explain how it helped you to improve yourself as a person and a professional. If you are a working mom, you have a valid enough reason to take a break as it is. The key here is to portray the break as an essential part of your development process. If you can successfully convince them, then there’s nothing standing between you and that job.
Perform a skill audit
This is a self-evaluation aspect that you should focus on. While you were on break, the world had moved on. There might be new and improved skills on-demand in your industry. You need to find out where you stuck among the rest. Try to evaluate, whether or not you know the in-demand skills. If you are confident in your skills, then there’s nothing to worry about. If not, we suggest you try and develop the lacking skills first. It's better to dive into job hunting being prepared. This will increase your chance of getting hired.
Self-branding can be an important key to get hired right after a career break. You need to put yourself in social networking sites to get noticed. Have you been doing productive things during your break? If so, highlight them on your work-related social media like LinkedIn. You might have even done community service or social work. These might look irrelevant at first. But the key here is to showcase that you haven’t been sitting lazy. The point is, whatever you did, showcase them for the potential employer to see.
However, when you took break for sickness or personal issues it is a different matter. Don’t worry! Try out the other strategies.
Audit your industry
People tend to make the mistake of not auditing their industry enough. As a result, several scenarios might occur. First of all, you might not get any job offer. Secondly, there might be offers that aren’t relevant to your skillset or are far below your expected level. So, what should you do then?
You should perform an industry audit to get insight into the latest development. Basically, you need to catch up with the happenings around you to stay up to date with your industry. This will give you a comparative advantage regarding when to apply and what to consider before applying.
Find some part-time or voluntary work
What if, you have a long gap in your career? The transition to a full-time job from a break isn’t easy. Potential employers are always skeptical about hiring candidates with a long employment gap. However, that shouldn’t deter you in any way. The curve might be a bit steep, but it's not something that you can’t climb. We suggest you to get involved in some sort of part-time jobs and/or voluntary works when you are struggling to hunt your desired job. This will make a good impression on your CV.
Change your track
You can always consider a fresh start coming back from your break. If you are someone who’s not happy with the industry you’ve worked in previously, now is the time to make the switch. Going on a break gives you the time to reflect and reassess your priorities. You can always reconsider making the switch given you have a separate skill set. If not, you can always start acquiring them before you get into job hunting.
Don’t give up
This is the final step. Don’t give up no matter what. Things are going to be challenging to say the least. But you should stay strong in the face of adverse situations. Sooner or later, you will find yourself back on track. Just trust yourself.
So far, we have discussed some effective ways to re-launch your career after a break. Coming back from a break and finding an instant footing is no simple task. However, it's not unattainable as well. As long as you follow the steps above, you should be able to find a relevant job without much worry.