How To Get Back Into Work After A Long Career Break
Going back to work after a long career break is daunting and a lot of people worry that they won’t be hired. It can be difficult to find work when you’re up against people that have recent experience, especially in a competitive job market. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find work after a career break, you just need to know how to approach applications and interviews in the right way, and how to make yourself more employable. These are the best ways to find work after a long career break.
Don’t Hide It
There is going to be a big gap on your CV and there’s no way around it, but the worst thing that you can do is try to hide it because it could be an asset. Instead of leaving a big blank gap in your work history, add a section for your career break and write about what you were doing. If you took a break to care for your family, for example, you can speak about the different skills that you learned as a parent. Things like time management, organisational skills, and crisis management are all part of the daily duties of a parent and those skills transfer into the workplace.
If you took some time out to go travelling, write about where you went and what you learned about yourself. As long as you can demonstrate that your career break taught you new skills and helped you to develop as a person, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative. But if an employer reads your CV and there is a big gap with no explanation, that will really put them off.
Invest In Education
The world moves fast and if you haven’t been working for a long while, things may have changed a lot. Technology is a prime example of this and the daily duties that you have to perform in an office are vastly different to what they were a decade ago, which is why it’s a good idea to invest in education. It’s more common for people to go to university these days, which means that you will be up against people with degrees and a lot of positions may list it as a requirement. If you don’t want to compromise on your chosen career, you could consider going to university and getting a degree. In certain industries where all of the other candidates have a degree, it may make it easier to get your foot in the door.
A degree isn’t the only way that you can improve your skills and make yourself more employable though, and a lot of people don’t want to go back into full time education for three years. But you can still look into job training courses for certain roles. Even if you don’t have as much experience as the other candidates, taking training courses to improve your skills demonstrates that you are invested in personal development and you have learned the skills that you need to succeed in the job.
Call In Some Favours
When you’re trying to get back into work, you shouldn’t be ashamed to call in some favours. Start by calling up your old workplace and see if they have anything going. As long as you left on good terms, you might find that they have an opening for you. Even if they don’t, they might be able to point you in the direction of somebody that does. You should also try to network on social media sites like Linkedin and see if you can connect with companies and hiring managers that are looking for people. Getting a personal recommendation from somebody could give you the boost that you need to find that first job.
Prepare For The Interview Properly
If you do everything right, you should land yourself an interview. It’s always important to be prepared for an interview, but it’s especially important after a long career break because they will ask you about it. They will want to know why you decided to take a career break and why you want to come back to work now. More importantly, they will want to know why you still feel that you are the right person for the job considering your lack of recent experience. When they have plenty of other candidates that haven’t taken a career break, why should they choose you? You need to be ready to answer these tough questions so you don’t get caught out.
Getting back into work after a long career break is hard and you are at a bit of a disadvantage. But if you follow these steps, you should be able to find a job.