Getting back into the workforce after a career break? Here’s all you need to know!
Returning to the workforce isn’t always easy. With hefty job losses and a slow economy, being tactful is all the more important. Whether you took a career break that was planned or unplanned, the period before you actually return is the most crucial as this is all the time you need to get started to get back into the workforce. Worried already? Take a chill 💊. We’ve got you all covered from start to start date! First, align your wants and job needs.
Don’t just jump right into applying all over the place. If it has been a while since you worked last, understand what drives you and how you want all that to play in, into your next job role.
Ask yourself these questions - Will this job give me truly what I want? Am I ready to take the next step with this role? Was my previous role gratifying? If your answers to these are a “hell yes!” then let’s move to the next step!
Unlearn to re-learn!
If your break has been a long one, the chances are that the industry has moved ahead. In such a case, you need to unlearn old ways and keep up with the times. A very real example is that of working from home due to the pandemic. Are you ready to stay at home on your computer for over 10 hours? Is coordinating remotely something you’d be able to manage?
Familiarise yourself with the work situation and then move on to the next step!
Research your potential employers and the industry they come from. Understand the salary ranges you can command and look at your peers and potential competition. This will give you an understanding of what you’ll be getting into, and help you stay prepared.
Another quick tip is to reach out to some of the former and employees to get a fair idea of what the firm culture and work ethics are going to be. This is a good place to gauge expectations and stay prepared for what’s in store for you.
Shine those shoes and gear up!
Post your industry research, you’ll have a fair idea of everything that you need to get started and get hired. Are you the best hire? Do you have the right skill set and the right attitude? Have you used the break time to stay ahead and in sync with your work? These are things that you need to be absolutely confident about. If you still feel you’re slightly behind all this, sign up to newsletters, podcasts; attend seminars and workshops and even take a few refresher courses. These will help you get back and ready to take on the world!
Practice, practice, practice!
All the world’s a stage... No, we’re not talking Shakespeare here. But just as you’d rehearse your lines before going on stage for your performance, you’d also want to make sure that you’re all prepared with your interview. Keep a copy of your resume with you, update your Linkedin profile, make sure that you’re equipped with answers to justify your work. Another quick tip is to also not just read what you’ve done, but incorporate real-life examples, be expressive and show that you genuinely care about solving the problem and are not in it just for the job. If you do not feel so passionately about the job, don’t even apply there!
Keep your past brief and your future determined!
If you’ve had a long break, interviewers will be curious to know why. In such a case, keep your talking points in mind and a strong reason behind taking that decision that you took. A good way to close the loop is why you have decided to re-enter the workforce and what you see for yourself going forward. Don’t sell yourself short. Always remember that you had taken a break but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t command a competitive salary. Negotiate for what you believe is right and don’t feel guilty about it!
Aaand that’s about it! You’re all set to take over the world, girl! So shake off those nerves, keep your head up high and go get that job!