Strategies to help you get back to work after a career break-sanewnetworks
Getting back to work after a break from work can seem like a daunting task.
While the Covid pandemic may cause you even more shock, there is hope for it. Teleworking is becoming more common, according to LinkedIn, and has grown more than 4.5 times since January 2020. People now have access to opportunities that were not available to them in the past due to geographic restrictions, said Ada Yu, LinkedIn’s career product manager.
While there are many reasons to leave work, caring for children is an important task, and it usually falls on the shoulders of women. According to a LinkedIn and Censuswide poll in March last year, nearly half of working mothers take extended breaks beyond maternity leave after giving birth. The average break is approximately two years.
According to Stacy Delo, co-author of Your Turn: Careers, Kids and Comebacks – A Working Mother’s Guide and CEO of Après, the website provides career resources for women returning to the labor market. If you’re sure why you took a break, what you’ve learned and what you want to do next, others will, too, she said.
Don’t do it alone
Reach out to former coworkers, classmates, and friends to let them know you’re open to new opportunities. Use LinkedIn’s Open to Work feature to alert recruiters.
When it comes to your career, just one person opening the door can be critical, Yu said. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to create one, said Holland Hayes, a workplace strategist who works with women returning to the job market and looking to climb the corporate ladder.
When referring to new contacts, personalize the reason you are connecting instead of just clicking the Connect button. Make it relationship-oriented, not transaction-oriented, even if you need help, Hayes said.
Sell your skills
Don’t sell yourself too low you’ve used important skills during your break, whether it’s managing your household budget, keeping your family in order, or helping your child with virtual learning or homework. Women with a career gap have incredible skills that can be passed on to other people, which employers say is a priority in hiring right now, Delo said.
Employers know they can teach specific skills in their work, but transferable skills like good communication, team building and problem solving skills are more difficult to teach. You can also learn more by taking online courses, such as free courses from LinkedIn, which can help you improve your skills, or by taking continuing education courses at your local college.
Update your resume / CV
While you can’t add anything to your employment history, you can add the aforementioned skills to the skills section on your resume or curriculum vitae. You can also bring them up in your cover letter, on an advance call, or in an interview when filling gaps in your employment history, Hayes notes. Also add any certifications or courses you’ve taken, as well as any volunteer work you’ve done. Every time you apply for a job, adjust your resume to fit a specific position and use keywords from the publication.
Research each company you apply for, including its mission statement to see if its vision aligns with yours and how many women leaders it has, Hayes suggested. Also, research the interviewer and find commonalities or connections that you can bring to the conversation.
To get an idea of the work environment, the Glassdoor website can give you an idea of who is happy or unhappy with the way they are being treated in a particular company. Even if you don’t have an interview schedule, conduct a mock interview with someone to help you organize your thoughts and get back into the interview process, Hayes advises.