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There is no doubt that looking for a new job can be a daunting process, but it can feel even more challenging after an extended period of time away from the workplace. Whatever your reasons for taking time off, you need to start looking at how you are going to get back into the working world again as seamlessly as possible.
If you let yourself get consumed by negative thinking, you are never going to be able to get yourself into the right mindset to return to work. So, here is some advice that you will hopefully find useful when it comes to going back to a career after a break.
Assess Your Situation
Everyone’s personal situation is different. It may be that you have been away from work for a matter of months or a matter of years. Are you planning on returning to a similar field or starting something entirely new? If it is the former, there may be certain skills which you need to update before going back to work. Perhaps there are some online classes which you could take that may be beneficial.
If you are planning on going into something new, look into transferable skills that you have built up and whether you will need to go in at entry-level or you may be able to go in a little higher. There is no point simply applying for the first job that you find as this is unlikely to provide you with the sense of satisfaction that you are looking for.
Update Your CV and Online Profiles
Many people are worried that the career break is going to appear like a big red flag on their CVs. But rather than just ignoring it, you should address the break directly. Explain what you have been doing during that time, as well as any relevant skills that you have acquired.
You may even find that you have done things during your time off which gives you the edge over other candidates as you have a different range of experience to offer. When you are updating your CV, you should also take the time to refresh any relevant online presences which may be useful such as LinkedIn.
Call Upon Previous Contacts
You never know how your friends, old colleagues and other acquaintances may be able to help you out in your quest for a new job. It could be that they know of a job opening at their current workplace or they can at least point you in the right direction of companies that are hiring at the moment.
They also may be able to catch you up on how the industry has changed during the time that you have been away. Ultimately, many industries still rely very much on who you know, so if you have a contact that you can help you out, it is certainly worth calling on them.
Be Prepared for the Interviews
Perhaps the most daunting aspect of returning to the world of work after a career break is the thought of walking into that first interview and having no idea how to answer any of the questions. Start to prepare some answers for the most common interview questions that you could be confronted with.
Be aware that you are almost certainly going to be asked to explain the career gap, so make sure that you have your answer ready to go. Try to second-guess some of the issues that the interviewer may have in employing you so that you are in a position to address these head-on.
Look for Any Courses You Can Take
There are all sorts of courses out there which could be useful in easing you back into the world of work. Though there are some available online, it may help you out to go to one in person. This way, you can meet other people who are in the same situation as yourself. It is a great source of comfort to know that you are not the only one in that position. You are also likely to learn some new skills which you can take into your job search.
Even if you don’t feel hugely confident in going back into the world of work, it is important that you display a sense of assurance. There are no reasons why you shouldn’t make a success of this transitional period, and you shouldn’t think of yourself as being behind any of the other candidates out there.
If you lack confidence, it is much easier to undersell yourself and you could put potential employers off from hiring you. You can help to give yourself a sense of confidence in knowing that your CV is as polished as possible, you know about the organisation that you are applying for, and you are ready for the interview process.
Don’t Think That You Are Alone
Taking a career break is actually a lot more common than you would think, and you will end up doing yourself a disservice by believing that you are the only one in this situation. Everyone is on a different journey in life and no two career paths are the same. It may end up being an advantage that you are going back to work after a break as you are entering with a fresh perspective and a sense of optimism rather than being jaded and only going through the motions.
Hopefully, you have taken a positive message away from the points in this blog post. Just because you have had a career break, there is no reason why you can’t return to the world of work in the most positive way possible. If you have been off work due to an injury, you may need legal support from the likes of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. This can help you transition back into work.
Essentially, if you go into this process thinking that you have already at a disadvantage, you are going to make it much less likely to land the job that you are looking for. Display a sense of positivity and you are much more likely to get the outcome that you are looking for.