Career Woman

Career break value: How to make a career break work for you


This guide outlines how you can get the best value from a career break and come back stronger than ever.

Every person has their own reasons for taking a career break. It can be a wholly positive choice. You may have decided that you needed some time off to develop your interests, travel  the world or volunteer in a sector that made you feel valued and fulfilled. You may have chosen to take a career break from your career so that you could dedicate your time to raising a young family or caring for an elderly or infirm relative. Alternatively, it may have been a decision that was forced upon you because you were ill, bereaved, made redundant or your own business failed and you have to close it down.

Once your circumstances have changed and you decide to rejoin the world of work, you may be surprised to find that there are several barriers in your way! At the top of this list can be a lack of confidence. When you have been out of the workplace for a few years, it can be quite scary when you are trying to get back in and everybody else appears to have more qualifications and experience than you do. If you have a family, a second concern is how your return to work will impact on them and how your family will cope when you are out at work for several hours a day.

Confidence boosting tricks after a career break

The blow to your confidence can start even before you start to apply for jobs. You become aware that you will be competing against candidates who have not had a career break. Does this mean that they are more capable of doing the job than you are? Not necessarily! It is time to make the most of your abilities, skills, and experience.

Without an impressive CV, you will not even be shortlisted for interview and this will knock your confidence even further. If you can get a few interviews under your belt, your confidence will rise and even if you do not get the job, you can get some feedback on what you can do to improve.

It is unlikely that you will have the expertise to weave your career break cleverly into your CV and make it look like a good thing and not a bad thing. Resume writers have the expertise to do this for you. They can also provide careers coaching and really understand how the professional job market works. Your CV will stand out to recruiters and you have the best chance of being shortlisted for the job you want.

If you do identify some obvious gaps in your knowledge, skills, and experience there is plenty that you can do about it.  The knowledge and skills can be topped up with some courses. You can choose from short taught courses or online courses. Many offer one-to-one tutor support and you get an accredited qualification once you have completed them. They are another way of boosting your confidence with the sense of achievement that you get when you have successfully completed it.

There is also plenty that you can do about a lack of experience. Network with people and organizations in your chosen industry. Send out some emails and ask if you can meet them for an informal chat. Offer to volunteer in appropriate sectors and keep a careful record of what you have done.

Preparing your family for your return to work

Your return to work will impact your household so it makes sense to prepare in advance. One of the major hurdles will be the division of household chores and this can be the cause of many arguments.

Start by getting the whole household together and discussing how the household chores will be managed. You could even jot down a list of all the chores that need to be done. It may help if you allocate them to family members. Older children can be very helpful but may take some persuading and you may have to use a cash incentive!

Batch cooking and freezing meals at the weekend frees up a lot of time during the evening on weekdays. If you have younger children, you will need to arrange appropriate day care and it can take a while to find what you want so start looking early on. It can also take some time for children to settle into a new routine so be patient.

With some careful preparation and planning, a return to work after a career break can be a positive and fulfilling experience. You will have learnt a lot in your time off work and employers will value this.


About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

Recommended for you

error: Content is protected !!