There are many reasons why people from all sorts of industries and occupations take career breaks. It might be for family reasons, to travel or to pursue full-time study. Whatever your reason, pausing to consider how best to make your transition back into the workforce can help you achieve a smooth return. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
When it comes to returning to the workforce, planning can be a great advantage. Ideally, you would want to think about returning before starting your break, but if you haven’t, it’s not too late to start planning when you decide it’s the right time to return to work. So what should your plan include? Depending on your circumstances, there are several areas you might consider. For instance, do you need to refresh your skill set? Perhaps you need to update or reactivate professional memberships? Are there people you need to reconnect with? Should you speak with a recruiter? How will you respond to questions about taking a career break? Thinking about these questions before returning to the workforce can help you to be better prepared for transitioning back into the workforce.
Personal and professional networks can be particularly helpful when returning to the workforce. For this reason, renewing connections might well be an excellent place to begin. Reconnecting with people in your professional network can provide invaluable information about the state of your industry and what opportunities may be available. It can be a great way to catch up on anything that may have changed while you’ve been away. You may also decide to let people in your network know that you are looking to return and what sort of positions you are interested in. You never know what opportunities may come your way.
Update your resume
However long your career break, accounting for the time in your resume is a good idea. Gaps tend to raise questions. However, updating your resume to explain a period without employment can simply resolve this. Depending on your circumstances, the explanation could be quite short. If what you’ve been doing during your break is relevant to your career or industry, you might like to give a little more information. Either way, the key is being upfront about acknowledging the break and open in explaining it. Where you can, highlight relevant skills or knowledge that you have developed or maintained during your break and the value you can bring to an employer.
When returning from a career break, being prepared can help you make a smooth transition back into the workforce. Take the time to plan your transition back to work. Be sure to make the most of your personal and professional networks and reconnect with people where you can. Gather information and let people know what type of positions you are looking for. Update your resume and remember to link your skills and experience to the value that you offer. If you have questions or need a hand, you can always ask us. We’re happy to help.