There comes a time in your life where you need to leave work behind for a while. It might be because you have family things that you have to deal with, it might be that you need a break or the good of your mental health – or it may just be that you need to consider your options going forward. Whatever it is, it will simply look like a gap in your career to outside readers of your resume.
And once you have dealt with everything you needed to do, you might be ready to get back into the job market. Of course, if it has been a while, then you might feel overwhelmed, nervous, and not really know where to start.
Here are tips for you to get back into the workplace.
Wants & Needs
Browing the job market can be exciting, but don’t start firing off CVs and emails of inquiry unless you have really thought about the implications of working in that place. What type of job do you want? Are you looking to work around school hours? Are you a bit of a night owl and ready to make use of that? Consider if you might be prepared to get into the same sector as you were in before – taking into consideration why you left in the first place.
What are the needs that arise when you really press yourself? Is it a big salary? Or would you prefer beer on Fridays and a flexible work schedule? Think about what the job would need to have to be perfect for you – as well as what you need to be perfect for the job.
When you are out of work for a while, it is easy to lose touch with the people that you used to spend every lunch break with. However, they can be one of the most powerful things when it comes to getting back into work. It will help you get a firm grasp on the people who are making waves, how the companies have changed while you have been away, and even what kind of training people have had. All of these are important things when it comes to reentry. You need to know what level you will be coming back out – even more, if you might be rusty.
Over time those once sharp skills will lose their edge. Every sector moves so quickly unless you are in it, then the changes, training, and skills you need will change – without you. There might be new technology, new protocols. There are a few options here to make some changes. You can check out employment training courses and start getting back into the swing of things. Volunteer work, it might be in the field you work in, or it might not – a few hours in a people facing space can build your confidence quickly.
Check out some podcasts, websites, and even blogs by people who work in the sector that you use to. You might be surprised by some of the information that you can glean from them.
It is important that you consider the skills that you have learned while being away from the job. If you are a new parent or you had some family issues to deal with – in all of that are new skills that you can add to your resume – and when asked, you have real-world examples of what you have done, where, and why.
When you had a great job before you didn’t need to search, and then when you left, it was probably with the intention to be work free for a while. So those search skills aren’t going to be the sharpest. So you need to update your resume and your LinkedIn profile too. Rather than putting your CV in chronological order, try something that is more functional and lends itself to the jobs you will be applying for.
You will want to research some of the more common interview questions so that you can begin to form some of the answers – or at the very least won’ t be blindsided. There are also a few hints and tips you can find on various articles that can help you explain the gaps in your resume well.
There is no right time to get back into the workplace. Just narrow your searches, tailor your resumes, and don’t forget how valuable those old colleagues might be. Oh, and it never hurts to learn a new language.