Making a comeback after a job break may seem tough for some women. But you can get back into the workforce just as easily as you got on your break. Here’s how to do it.
No one prepares a woman for the harsh realities of when she takes a break from her career and then re-enters the workforce. All said and done, getting back into the workforce is tougher than what you’d anticipated.
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Irrespective of whether you were on a maternity break, or took time off to take care of young children or elders, or if you had followed your partner to a different city or country, the so-called “gap” in your career will most definitely stick out like a sore thumb.
Often employers get fixated on this “gap” in your resume and use that as a way to either hire you with a dip in pay or totally dismiss you. In such scenarios, your self-esteem often takes a beating and you are left with nothing but despair.
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So, what can you do to overcome these challenges when you plan on making a comeback? Well, you can prepare yourself in more than one way and get ready to re-enter the workforce. Here are some useful mechanisms to help you make a successful comeback and cope with the work-life post a break.
Create a roadmap
One of the most important things to do before you even begin your job search is to make a roadmap for yourself. You should write down the kind of jobs you are interested in (whether you want to go back to the same place you were working previously, or venture into a new space), analyze the skill sets required for the job, understand where to find such jobs etc.
By doing this simple task, you will understand the gravity of the situation you are in. This will further motivate you and help you move towards your end goal, i.e., to get back into work mode. This can also be a makeshift checklist of all the things you need to do before starting afresh.
Do a quick self-assessment
Sure you did miss out by not being employed, and during this time a lot has changed for both you and the work industry. We totally understand that when you take time off during childbirth or while raising kids, you are totally cut out from the world. Because, duh, priorities!
But, once you’ve decided to return then you need to buckle up and start working on yourself. Understand what you have missed in all this time and see if you can catch up on a few things, if not everything.
Gear up on the skill sets
A big part of your self-assessment will include working on your skill sets. You need to understand certain terminologies or get a hang of newer methods your company has adopted in making headway. Perhaps, you can enroll yourself in an online course if you feel rusty. Working on yourself and preparing yourself for the next step is crucial to landing yourself the desired job.
Update your resume
Dig into your old computer files and pull out your resume, because it’s show-time! Put everything in it that you consider relevant and that can help you score an interview with any employer. Get some help if needed but work on that resume until it is impressive.
Update your professional portal
If you are active on professional networking sites like LinkedIn, you need to log in and update your profile. Often, employers make inquiries when they come across a professionally attractive profile. This is also a great way to get started if you want to search for jobs. You can always reach out to headhunters on LinkedIn and see if you stand a chance.
Put the word out
The next thing to do is to start applying for jobs and get the word out. A lot of job portals such as Naukri, MonsterIndia, iimjobs, JobsForHer etc are great ways to apply for listed jobs. That said, you can also seek the help of a job consultant to get started. Another way is by checking with family and friends for a referral at their organizations.
These days, a lot of companies have active returnee programs that are specifically designed to target people, particularly women who restart their careers. So, unlike the olden days where it was practically impossible to get back to work after a break, these days it is relatively easier.
Understand your market value
If you’ve managed to get so much as an interview with any company, you will be able to determine what your true market value is. Don’t underestimate yourself, a so-called “gap” in your career shouldn’t be a setback. Instead, that should be your stepping stone to success. Regardless, of what people tell you, know your worth and work until you find the right job.
Don’t settle for less
Got offered a figure you’re unhappy with? Reject it. Unless of course, that’s the only offer on the table for you. In that case, grab it. But, you’ll see that often companies are biased when it comes to hiring people who were on a break. Somehow, that gives them the liberty to bargain with the potential employer. So, bargain right back and don’t settle for less.
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You know you can also do a little retail therapy to help yourself groom for that much-awaited comeback into the workplace. All you need is some confidence that you can do it and a Credit Card by your side that gives you the much needed financial liberty.