Top tips on re-joining the workforce
Returning to work after a career gap is rarely easy. Whatever the reason for the break and whether it has been 12 months or five years, the hurdles to getting back into the working saddle will be the same.
Firstly think about why you want to return to work – potential employers will always ask. It may be for financial reasons, it may be because you need professional fulfilment after raising children – just be ready with your answers. Having clarity on this will give you focus and keep you motivated. Whatever the reasons be as honest as you can – and don’t apologise for having had a career break!
Next determine what kind of role you want. It is often easier to return to what you know but equally it might be time for a change. Whatever you decide, be realistic and consider your options. Perhaps a part-time role or becoming a contractor would suit your circumstances better, allowing you greater flexibility and easing you back into the workplace.
Speak to recruitment consultants for advice – they can give you a steer on what roles you may be suitable for, where your skills gaps are and help guide you on your return to work.
The next, and perhaps biggest challenge is to get yourself ready to return. Those returning to work generally undervalue themselves, so begin by writing down five achievements you are most proud of and what you’ve learnt from them. Re-vamp your CV, remembering to explain any career gaps. If you’re returning after being made redundant be honest about it – many people in todays’ workforce have also been affected by redundancy and there’s less of a stigma attached to it. If you’re returning after raising children don’t be afraid to talk about the parenting skills you have gained from bringing up children – organisational, interpersonal and creative skills.
Prepare for interviews. Research and plan your answers and practice – with friends, family, old work colleagues etc. Take time to brush up on any relevant skills or training – invest in yourself – this in turn will give you greater confidence when you walk through the door on your first day back.
Get yourself re-connected. Network with relevant contacts and reacquaint yourself with colleagues. Start or update your Linked In profile – this will all help mentally prepare yourself for re-entering the workplace.
“And finally, if you can, wait for the right job,” Mike commented. “We’ve helped many candidates return to work and always advise them to take their time in making the right choice. We also recommend candidates new back to the marketplace consider Interim positions, because not only will this widen the opportunities open to you – it’s also a great opportunity both for the employer and candidate to trial working together before potentially making a longer term commitment.”
For further advice on returning to work or to find yourself a new role please contact Morpheus on 0203 589 0800.