Top Tips for Getting Back into the Workforce
The decision of taking a career break can be a taxing one, and getting back into the workforce also comes with its complicated struggles that may feel like they are setting you back.
Nonetheless, there are many things you can do to make getting back to work easier for yourself. Remember that some interviewers will be more forgiving than others regarding your situation. Prepare to feel some rejection and reluctance to hire you from some companies and recruiters similar to IP recruiter groups.
It is key to know how to return to the workforce, maintain your confidence, and address your career break when discussing hiring managers.
Before even diving into tips, you are probably already asking yourself whether taking a break was a good idea overall. The answer is more complicated than yes or no, so let’s expand upon that.
Analyze your situation
The first thing you must do is look at your situation and be aware of all factors. Do not simply jump into the first job you can find, instead try finding the right job for you. Interviewers will sense if you are uncertain about a certain job, and if you find a job you dislike, you will end up continuously switching workplaces.
Take time to decide on goals you have regarding your career and try to keep an open mind. Know your worth, skillset, and remember what felt right to you before your break may not be that great for you anymore. This is the time for self-discovery, so be prepared to jump in.
That being said, remember to prepare a proper narrative of your career break since no one else will tell your story but you. Assess all the skills you may have built during your time off and the benefit they may have for your future employer.
Remember, career breaks are nothing to be ashamed of; anyone can need them at any time and for different reasons, personal, familial, etc.
As the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shared, a total of 4% of employees have taken career breaks, with 73% of women leaving for familial reasons and 47% of men due to personal reasons, so there is nothing to be ashamed of you are not alone.
Organize your needs and get going
Consider what benefits you wish to have from your future job. Decide on how much work flexibility you need and how much support you wish to have. It is important to start preparing for conversations with potential employers to clarify your needs and avoid any future conflict.
You should also practice getting back into the routine of working if you have taken a long enough break. Start by getting up earlier and adding job searching to your daily routine, as well as clearing any social media of anything that might be unappealing for employers and hiring managers.
To add something more recent to your CV, you can start by volunteering at places to overcome the recent lack of experience. Volunteering will also help you get back into the groove of working at a workplace.
CV or Resume
Remember to make your resume stand out and include your career break since it will be required and revealed anyway. Make sure to explain any gaps in your work history on your CV, but you should also add all the experiences and skills you have learned during it through volunteering and elsewhere.
You can also mention past diplomas and new ones alike that relate to the job you are applying to, of course. Mention specific skills you have, since that will give you bonus points in the eyes of employers.
The reason behind potentially expanding your network is to fill any gaps in your knowledge that may have come with your break. You could also try reconnecting with former colleagues to spread the word that you’re returning to the workforce and maybe find help in discovering future employment.
All the contacts you have will either update your knowledge on the field you want to get back into or expand it on a new one if they can. Think of your contacts as a spider web, where the closest connections can help you find three new ones and point you in the right direction.
You can also reach out to random people on websites like LinkedIn to not have to worry about giving people something in return as a favor.
As for your skills, you can also go back to school or take classes to improve them. You can also do these things to learn new skills for a certain line of work you are now interested in or one that has always been an internal goal for you. Try also reading through old textbooks for a knowledge refresher.
To prepare for an interview, you must first consider the questions they will be asking of you, which will also probably include questions regarding your career break. You will most likely be asked the reason behind your break and what you did with your time.
Keep in mind that honesty is key and the reason behind why this career break was good for your well-being.
Try explaining the benefits you may hold to employers and the role you are applying for, thanks to the break and your previous experience. Also, mention why you decided to rejoin the workforce and highlight the passion, focus, and drive you to have towards the job you are applying for.
As for proper preparation, you can also join some career returner programs that usually last a couple of weeks. These programs are aimed at men and women who have specifically taken career breaks, and the programs work towards helping them readjust to being back in a job.
Other programs also provide aid in networking and finding mentorship opportunities.
Like all other places, confidence is key, but there is much more to it than simply just telling someone to be confident. All these previous experiences you have and the knowledge you hold give you all the reason to feel confident in your skills, as well as any help and programs you joined before applying.
Remember, most people are overqualified for many jobs they work at, so don’t worry about not being good enough. As long as you know your value and feel certain this is the correct path for you, the only thing left to do is get the job.