Written by Chris Davis (Workforce Specialist, Western Region)
Are you are planning on returning to work after taking an extended career break? Venturing back into the workforce can be nerve wracking, especially as we age (ripen!). Many worry that seeing a gap in a resume can raise an eyebrow of an employer. Some fear the employer may wonder if your skills are relevant, or if you have a clear sense of a career direction. As you will hear from Carol Fishman-Cohen in the video below, taking steps to reduce these fears before heading back to work is important.
Let’s start with your desires. Are your skills
the same as they were when you started your time off? Investigating these areas can be fun and can guide you to positions that will fit who you are now.
Second, if you need some techno-strength in a certain area, dive in and build it. Here are a few ideas:
Highlight What You Know
Focusing on what gifts you will bring to a workplace can build your confidence. Dig in and spend some time reflecting on your time off – on all that you’ve gained – and be able to speak to your strengths in an interview. Let employers know how you will add value to their workplace. Your matured perspectives, strengths, experience, energy, and enthusiasm are valuable.
Lastly, if you don’t see an open position at an organization that you would like to work at, ask if an intern-like role (paid or unpaid) is available. These types of arrangements can turn into competitive salary offers as your new work team gets to know you and comes to value and respect all that you bring to their workplace.
Hear From an Expert
In this 13 minute TED talk, career re-entry expert Carol Fishman-Cohen talks about the gems re-launchers hold. She also gives tips on filling in skill-gaps, and guides you to discover to how to add new value to workplace everywhere.