Career breaks offer a great way to recharge the battery, recuperate and rejuvenate. Stressful jobs where you are working long hours can cause ‘burn out’ and take its toll on our health and well being. After a sabbatical or long leave from work it is usual to feel the need to get back to your career.
However, being out of work for a long time can make getting back to work more of a challenge. Doubts can arise, and we find ourselves with the dilemma of being afraid that we are unable to cope with industry updates and the changes in the workforce, and we may even think we are inadequate or that our skills are outdated. We then need reassurance on how to get hired after a career break.
Here are five (5) tips for getting hired after a career break:
Evaluate your current situation
Out of work and wanting to go back working can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to. One can simply needs to prepare for it. A thorough assessment of your current situation is necessary. This entails weighing your employment wants and needs. In assessing or evaluating your situation, you need to take into consideration the career you left behind. Is it a career you want to go back and continue with? Or is it a career you want to use and move towards a different direction? What are the things that are important to you career-wise now? These need to be taken seriously and evaluated carefully.
Being out of work for some time may cause us to be complacent, and it may be a struggle to motivate yourself to begin the job hunt. In the meantime,it is good idea to plan and prepare.To continue with your chosen career and work you will need to update your knowledge and skillset – not just in regards to your resume, but also, with the latest changes in the industry you are in, or in the industry you plan on being in. Take refresher courses. Enroll in classes that give you additional skills that would be useful when you take on your preferred job. Study the culture of the industry you plan on joining. Educating one’s self is always the best way to prepare.
Use your contacts
Contacts are always handy especially when it comes to finding opportunities to get you back on track. Talk to your colleagues and friends and let them know that you are ready to go back to work and that you are open to referrals. Friends and family can play a big role in opening the doors of opportunities to you whenever you are ready to go back to work.
Be Hungry for Learning
Preparing yourself to start working again after a career break may mean you need to learn new things. Do not be afraid. Take on the challenge of learning new skills. Be open to the possibility of being a rookie at something. Be humble enough to admit you need help;that you need to learn and that you need somebody to train you to enhance your skill set and add to your knowledge. Seek opportunities for learning as they are opportunities for growth.
Confidence is the key
After thorough self-assessment and preparation, it is time for you to believe that you can do this. Believe that you can go back to work. Believe that you are better now than before as an employee and as a team member. You have upgraded your skills and you now know what you want career-wise and personally. It is time for you to “walk the talk” and not just act but be ready. It takes courage to make the first step – applying for a job. When you send in that job application, you must be sure that you first research the company, understand the job description and find out what it can do for you for your career. This way, come interview day, you are equipped and prepared with what you need, and you know what you can bring to the company and what you can expect from them.
A break from your career gives you a new perspective on life and can make your next big career move a more meaningful step.