TomorrowMakers

Anxious about re-joining the corporate world? Here is some advice for women who wish to resume their careers after a hiatus

Advice for women who are looking for employment after a career break

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 73% of women took a career break to start a family.

Taking a career break is often inevitable, especially if you’re a woman. The reasons may include further studies, family responsibilities, having a baby, and many more. But after a while, you may wish to resume your career. It’s then that reality strikes: how do you land a desirable job, especially after a long break? Here are some tips that will help you re-join the workforce.

Revamp your résumé

You might have kept yourself gainfully occupied even when you weren’t working. Redo your CV and add any new skills that you may have acquired while you were on your sabbatical. You might have attended a workshop during this time, learned a new language, volunteered at a non-profit, or helped organise a contest or promotion. But don’t try to fudge or lie about the duration of the job break. 

Rely on old connections

This is the time to call your previous bosses, colleagues, juniors, and friends in the HR department. Let them know that you want to get back to work and forward your new and updated CV to them. Create your online presence and be sure to regularly check job websites, LinkedIn, etc. According to the 2015 Jobvite survey, around 92% recruiters use online resources for hiring employees.

Keep up with trends

Aspiring for a job is not enough; ask yourself if you seem professional enough to get back to corporate life. You must groom yourself well to look and sound like a thorough and confident professional. Get updated with the latest business trends, brush up your knowledge, and read more papers and journals. You might also consider joining a short-term certification course to hone your skills. 

Have a positive outlook

You cannot convince someone until you are convinced yourself, so tell yourself that your sabbatical has only made you stronger, more capable, and more passionate about work. This is exactly what the person sitting on the opposite side of the table must feel. Naturally, this won’t be possible unless you stay positive and confident about yourself and your skills. 

Go prepared for the interview

Tricky questions such as, “why you took a break?” or “why do you want to resume working now?” might be put to you. You should prepare your answers well in advance. Don’t shy away from telling the interviewer that you do have the capability and you’re keen on learning; the only thing you might need from the organisation is a little training and mentoring to help you outperform. 

Consider working from home 

There are many organisations that allow you to work from home. It will be more convenient for you, and you will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. For instance, if you have a baby that’s still small and don’t wish to stay away from home for extended periods, request a flexi-time option. The remuneration may be lower, but it will give you peace of mind. 

After a prolonged hiatus, it’s not unusual for a woman to feel she’s become less skilled or not quite up-to-date with what’s expected in the corporate world. If you feel this way, it’s high time to change your outlook. So, shed all apprehension, believe in yourself, and get back to work with determination. 

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