Re-entering the Workforce? Don’t Take Things for Granted

Last updated 12 Jun 2014 . 3 min read


So, you were about to hit the peak of your career when you took a break. It could be for any reason – marriage, children, health, higher studies or shifting bases. Now, things have changed and you are re-entering the workforce with a vengeance. But why aren’t you doing as well as you expected?

Most likely than not, you are holding yourself back. We tell you how to avoid the many traps women tend to fall into:

  • Send a job application only after you have thought things through. Read the job description, see if you are a good fit and have the essential skills, and apply only if you are willing to take up the offer. No point wasting your and the employer’s time on a pointless exercise.
  • If an employer is specifying a particular location, don’t apply from a distant one. Most employers are willing to offer flexible terms, but remote working relationships don’t work for all roles. Start-ups often can’t afford flexi-workers when it comes to jobs with connect, such as marketing.
  • If you commit to an interview, be there, on time. Backing out at the nth hour is not fine, not unless you have a really good reason.
  • Apart from looking at your function at a micro level, look at the bigger picture. Display initiative. If you do things that are not part of your KRA, rewards are sure to come your way.
  • Today’s workplace needs an employee who is relevant, has a “can-do” attitude, an in-depth awareness of the industry, the market and organisation. Keep abreast with the company’s vision and align your competencies to the requirement of the next role.
  • Work on your communication skills. Communicate and connect more actively with colleagues and seniors. Share things at work. You may have gotten used to doing things your own way, but re-learn the art of being a team player.
  • Women returning to the workforce should not get offended if an employer asks for a certain amount of face time. Skype can’t always do what personal time does.
  • You might have been raking in the moolah once upon a time. But if you’re re-entering the workforce after a break,you can’t expect the same salary. Definitely not if you are looking at a flexible work environment that lets you focus on other priorities too. Deal with it. Or else, be prepared to work the same hours at the same pace as other colleagues.
  • Companies must keep their business goals and budgets in mind. Someone who hasn’t worked in the last 2-5 years is a bit of a wild card hire in a flexi-time role. This makes it impossible to offer pay that’s in keeping with what a full-time working contemporary could make.
  • If you want to get more, do more. Take on more responsibility, ease your manager’s workload and prove your worth by asking customers to send feedback and endorse your work.
  • The workplace calls for constant upgradation and reinvention to ensure growth and evolution. Upgrading skills will stand you in good stead;  it’s not something to be looked down on. Take an online course, read an industry journal, or talk to your mentor. Don’t let a career break leave you unable to keep pace.

Women returning to the workplace can’t display a sense of entitlement; they need to work their way up and earn a position and compensation that’s rightfully theirs.

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SHEROES - lives and stories of women we are and we want to be. Connecting the dots. Moving the needle. Also world's largest community of women, based out of India. Meet us at @SHEROESIndia

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