Regardless of the reason for your break, i.e. maternity, illness, injury, or personal reasons, getting back into the field can be a daunting task. There are several steps to consider when returning to work to make the transition easier.
Career Objectives – Be clear about your future career objectives and get a plan in order. You have had time to truly think about what it is that you want in a career. Take career notes and ensure that you are applying to places that will fit your ideal career goals. Consider your options by talking to friends, searching online, looking at professional sites and even by contacting professionals in the career field to get their perspective.
Boost Confidence – There are confidence boosters that you can do to get yourself ready for a full-time job again. Volunteer at a charitable organization and take on some roles like financial or managerial. Get the hang of things again and get some credit on your resume. Consider interning in the field that interests you to gain critical skills and get your foot in the door.
Upgrade your Tech Skills – Consider revamping your technological skills by taking some online courses in the software that your profession may utilize. Even if you have only been out of the field for a few years, software and programs change. Brushing up on new programs and software can be the best way to make yourself marketable.
Update Memberships – Look at the professional organizations that your career field belongs to and get your membership back on track. Consider going to conferences to learn new things in the field and to make new professional contacts.
Update your CV – This is one of the most important aspects of getting a new career, because your CV is their insight into your life and qualifications. Even if there is a gap, let them ask about that during the interview process. List all of the qualifications, certifications, and references that are relevant in your field. Don’t hold back, as this is the time to brag on all achievements that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Be Honest – When you get the interview, be honest in your reasoning for the employment gap. Most managers are human and understand that life can cut into your plans. Maybe you had to take care of a sick relative or had a child with special needs and a career wasn’t feasible at the time. Let them know that you are completely available and ready to pick up where you left off and that you will do whatever it takes to get up to speed.
Refresh your Wardrobe – Times have changed and what is appropriate in the workplace for an interview and public appearances has also changed. Check out the business world one day and see what the professionals are wearing and get a few outfits for your interview and first days at work. Feel out the career field to see what style is required to fit in and look appropriate.