Re-joining the workforce after a career break can be daunting to say the least. The main challenge is how to adapt and best prepare for the changes that lie ahead.
As your search begins for the right match for you, here are some preparation tips from the team at Ceek for transitioning back into the workforce:
Identify your job focus
Question to ask – am I looking to go back into a job similar to the one I had before or am I open to different career options?
This is the same as asking if you want your next holiday to be close to home or if you want to visit a country in another continent.
Limiting your focus to work you are familiar with is less daunting as it will entail finding a job where you do more or less the same as you did before, and what you are most experienced at. On the other hand, venturing into a completely new sector requires the courage to explore new territories, new possibilities, and more unknowns.
While the latter may seem an unnecessary stress, there are many factors that could have changed since you were last part of the workforce to influence your decision. It could be that the job market has changed, or perhaps there are no current openings in your field, or your previous work required more time and energy than you are able dedicate this time around, etc. Consider any internal and external factors before deciding which direction to go in.
Update your CV
Question to ask – what can I add to my previous CV to make up for my employment gap?
This is where the other skills section of your CV can be enhanced based on the experience you have gained outside of paid employment.
If, for example, you are a woman entering the work force after a maternity break, what are the skills that you have acquired when managing a new addition to the family?
Has this time served for you to become better at budgeting, time management, communication, goal setting, or teamwork? Remember, employers value soft skills as much as they value formal education certificates and previous employment history.
Seek recruitment opportunities
Question to ask – how can I find a job best suited for my needs and skills?
This is where you start scouring websites, seeking the help of recruitment agencies, and networking in general.
Friends and family can also be roped in to help you in your job hunt. They can be very helpful forwarding any vacancies they think might suit you. Even if it isn’t exactly what you were looking for, it could turn out to be exactly what you need.
Prepare to be interviewed
Question to ask – how can I overcome my fear of being interviewed after such a long time?
This is where you read up on interview tips, practise speaking about yourself in positive terms, and get up to speed on current trends in your chosen job field.
Sitting for a mock interview may not be possible, or may seem childish, but rehearsing, even by yourself, will help.
Preparing for eventual rejections is also helpful. Just because you are not chosen after your first interview does not mean that it will be an impossible feat to achieve your goal. It just means that there will be other opportunities and now you are better prepared.
Identifying an ideal destination is tricky and journeys can sometimes be bumpy. But ticking off as many of the tips on this checklist as possible will ensure that the transition to a new job will be smoother and easier to navigate.
Returning to work after a while is like deciding to embark on a journey – but with no idea of the destination. Whatever the motivation behind your transition back into the workforce, advance preparation will definitely help to secure the right job.
CEEK can help you prepare for interviews, identify a career path that motivates you, and choose a company that offers the right fit. Get in touch today to see how we can help you steer your career in the right direction!