Quick Action Steps to Re-enter the Workforce
Text by: Kate von Knobloch
Re-entering the job market after a longer career break can be a daunting task. Many people who take time off from their careers for various reasons such as raising a family, caring for a loved one, or pursuing further education can find it difficult to re-enter the workforce. This is because the job market is constantly evolving, and the skills and experience that were once valuable may no longer be relevant. However, there are ways to succeed in re-entering the job market and I am sharing them here in this blog post and in my free guide book.
Why re-entering the workforce is such a tricky thing to accomplish
One of the main reasons why re-entering the job market after a career break is so hard is the gap in employment. Employers often view gaps in employment with skepticism and may question the applicant’s commitment to their career. They may also assume that the applicant’s skills and knowledge are outdated, making it difficult for them to fit into the fast-paced and constantly evolving job market. This can result in a lack of confidence in the applicant’s ability to perform the job and lead to the employer choosing another candidate.
Another challenge faced by those re-entering the job market is the loss of professional networks. People who take career breaks may lose touch with former colleagues and industry contacts, which can make it harder to find new job opportunities. Additionally, the job market is highly competitive, and having a strong professional network can often give an advantage over other candidates. Thankfully, most recent work trends indicate a shift in the perception of career changers and longer career breaks, reducing some (but not all) of the stigma.
The rapid pace of technological advancements can also make it challenging for people re-entering the job market after a career break. The skills and knowledge that were once highly sought after may no longer be relevant or may have become obsolete. For instance, a person who took a career break to raise a family or to accompany the partner on an assignment abroad have missed out on developments in technology or changes in industry regulations. This can make it harder for them to keep up with the latest trends and compete with other candidates who have been working in the industry continuously. I remember one of my coaching clients telling me that she left the workforce before the integration of emails in the daily corporate life and came back to 150 emails on her first day of work. A very intimidating experience indeed!
However, there are steps that can be taken to succeed in re-entering the job market and I want to share some of them here in this blog post. I also created a more extensive study on the whole topic of re-entering the workforce after a longer career break and you can download the paper (including action steps) here free of charge.
Quick fixes to return to the workforce successfully after a longer break
Returning to the workforce after taking a career break can be an intimidating process, but with the right approach and mindset, it is possible to re-enter the job market successfully. Whether you took a break to raise a family, pursue further education, or care for a loved one, or experiencing life abroad, the following tips will help you navigate the job market and find a role that suits your skills and experience.
Assess your skills and experience
Before embarking on a job search, take the time to assess your skills and experience. Consider the skills you developed during your career break, whether it was volunteering, freelancing, or pursuing further education. These skills could be relevant to the role you’re seeking and should be highlighted on your resume and during interviews. Review your previous work experience and update your resume to reflect any new skills you’ve gained.
Networking is a crucial part of any job search, and it becomes even more important when re-entering the job market. Reach out to former colleagues, friends, and family members who may be able to provide leads or recommendations. Attend industry events or conferences to meet new people and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your field. LinkedIn is also a valuable resource for networking and job searching. Join industry groups and connect with professionals in your field.
Update your online presence
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential. Ensure your social media profiles are up-to-date and reflect your professional brand. Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your current skills and experience. Consider starting a blog or contributing to industry publications to demonstrate your expertise and stay top-of-mind with potential employers.
Consider temporary or freelance work
Temporary or freelance work can be a great way to ease back into the workforce and build your skills and experience. Consider taking on short-term projects or consulting work to gain exposure to new industries or companies. These experiences can help you build your network and potentially lead to full-time employment opportunities.
Returning to the workforce after a break often requires a level of flexibility and open-mindedness. Consider roles outside of your previous job title or industry, and be open to learning new skills or taking on new challenges. Be willing to start in a lower-level position or take on part-time work to gain experience and demonstrate your work ethic.
It’s important to practice interviewing and be prepared to address any gaps in your employment history. Be ready to explain your career break and how it has prepared you for the role you’re seeking. Practice answering common interview questions and consider seeking the help of a career coach or mentor to prepare for interviews. It is not about justifying the career break but it’s about owning it!
Finding the right job after a career break can take time, so it’s important to be patient and persistent. Keep applying to roles that interest you, and continue to build your skills and experience in the meantime. Stay positive and focused on your goals, and remember that the right opportunity will come along with time.
Trust the process of taking one step after the other
Returning to the workforce after a career break can be a challenging process, but with the right approach, it’s possible to find a fulfilling role that suits your skills and experience. By assessing your skills, networking, updating your online presence, considering temporary or freelance work, being open-minded, practicing interviewing, and being patient, you can successfully re-enter the job market and find a role that suits your needs and interests.
Download my comprehensive study on the why and the how of re entering the workforce
Looking to re-enter the workforce after a career break? I’ve got you covered! My free study on re-entering the job market after a longer break is now available for download.
This comprehensive document covers everything you need to know about returning to the workforce after a career break, from assessing your skills and experience to networking, updating your online presence, considering temporary or freelance work, being open-minded, practicing interviewing, and being patient. Based on real life examples of women around the globe and relevant academic research in that field I provide you a colourful mix of role model stories, facts and figures, and best practices.
With my free study, you’ll gain valuable insights and practical tips on how to navigate the job market and find a role that suits your needs and interests. Whether you’ve taken a break to raise a family, pursue further education, or move countries, my study is packed with valuable information that will help you re-enter the workforce with confidence.
So why wait? Download my free study today and take the first step towards a successful return to the workforce!
I hope you found this blog post helpful for your current situation. Let me know if I can be of any help! I will soon offer the opportunity for free 1:1 discovery calls to discuss your situation and I also offer free monthly global coffee dates where women from all around the world meet to discuss their global lifestyle decisions. You can safe your spot here.