5 Steps To Successfully Return To The Workforce
Returning professionals are often worried that getting back to work after a break will be a daunting task. But trust us, this isn’t the case at all. You are still the same competent, professional person that you were before the career break and there are some excellent skills that you gained while being a SAHM!
To help tap into the old, confident you again, we have put together a 5 step guide to ensure that your restart is a success. A structured approach to restarting your career can make it easier and efficient. You should take time, in the beginning, to discover what you want to do; you can then explore options and move forward.
Step 1: Be Certain
Determining readiness is the first step. Too often, hiring managers look at moms going back to work, and they wonder, “Is she ready? Can she manage? What if she gives up?” They are hesitant. You need to ask the same questions to yourself. Make sure you carefully consider the decision to return to work, and you have in place the mechanisms to make it possible. Ensure that you really are ready to get back to work.
Consider answering these extremely important questions:
1. How much do I want to be working now?
2. Why am I on a Career Break? What are my current obligations? Is that going to change soon?
3. What is my support?
Step 2: Assess Your Career Options
Don’t limit your job prospects with a narrow search focused only on positions similar to those you have held in the past. When looking for jobs after a career break, pay more attention to the skills required, than the job title.
Consider the career break as an opportunity to explore options. Was your previous career exactly what you wanted or are you looking to change your career? This is a great time to reflect. Assess your skills and think about how they can apply to different positions in different fields. Explore your second career options.
Also, understand that making a career change is a life-changing event, and it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Find out exactly what this new career has in store. And would you fit well in this career? Research your new career before you take the leap.
Step 3: Get Family Support
Discuss your interest in returning to work with your family. You have to consider childcare and the realities of balancing everything. Brainstorm with your family, all possible situations where you would need support and a back-up. It is important to share the load and plan for the support that you will need.
As you return to the workforce, engage your family, and most importantly your spouse. Discuss mutual expectations and develop plans for child care and other responsibilities. Compromise is the key. Your husband will make compromises, as will you. Remember that you’ll be a great role model for your children. Ask for help with the housework or managing childcare, and don’t be hard on yourself, if you haven’t managed to cook nutritious food. Understand that you can’t be a superwoman.
Juggling work and home life is a massive undertaking. Be easy on yourself, if you don’t get everything up to ‘perfect’.
Step 4: Update Your Professional Skills
While you were away, a lot might have changed. There would be new trends and technology. Don’t be intimidated. No one can take away what you already know. Fortunately, there are online courses that you can enrol on to learn the latest trends and technologies. Some courses are free, while others are costly. Remember, you are investing in your future. Find out what are the most recent trends in your industry and take up a course to gain those skills.
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Step 5: Update Job Search Skills
Improve your employability by gaining job search skills. Actively market yourself on Twitter and LinkedIn. Practice your interview. Develop a story summarizing your expertise and the kind of opportunity you seek in a few key sentences. We recommend focusing on the kind of work you would love to do, rather than talking about the job titles you have had. Networking is a crucial part of your job search. Go out and meet people in your industry or the other industries you wish to explore. You never know where the next opportunity could be.
Join a professional group - you’ll find associations in every field. Working women support groups will go a long way for advice. Get active in your alumni association – no matter how long ago you graduated – it is a great resource.
Leaving your career wasn’t easy, starting it again won’t be either. But you’re older and wiser and stronger now. The world awaits your restart!
Do you have a ‘getting back to work’ story? Share it with us!
R*****After long 20yrs gap I had joined a company but I was much lacking behind the digital world so I left the job . I should have read your article before leaving the job.