Returning to work after a career break – Five questions about getting back in the game
Firstly, let’s dispel a myth. There is a common misconception that a career break is frowned upon by employers. We can promise you that this is not the case. Whatever the reason for your career break, your individual circumstances are not the issue for a potential employer.
When you decide it is time to return to work, the employer will be looking for a valuable member of the team – not a valuable member of the team who must never have been in circumstances where they had to take some time out of their career.
Maybe it is something to do with the pressure we all come under at times to conform to the expected career path, that many candidates feel that a break is a big, black mark against them. Put that idea to one side. If you were a valuable worker before you took the break, you will still be one as you return to work. There are much more important things to worry about.
These are the five most common question we get asked about returning to work.
1. Will I be able to go right back to my old job role?
Well maybe, but maybe not. It depends on what your job originally was. If you have skills that are relevant to the workplace, the job option is there, and you had, the experience and work history needed prior to the break then, yes, why not? If on the other hand you have been out of work for a while or you are in a particularly fast-moving technology area or similar then you will probably ask the next question on this list.
2. Will I need to take a more junior role?
Possibly yes, because, in fairness, if you have been out of the workplace for a while and your job has a demand for a very ‘current practice’ based skillset then it is probably unrealistic to expect to go right back to the same role. However, it could well be a good thing for your work-life balance. Would you want to jump right back in the deep end when you could spend a little while in a more comfortable role until you are back in the swing of things?
3. Should I consider temporary or contract work?
In short, yes. Temporary or fixed contract work is a great way to ease yourself back into work and retain some control over your hours and work experience. Which brings us nicely to the next question.
4. What if I am thinking of a career change?
That’s fine. A career break can change what you want out of your working and personal life. Returning is a big decision but it is also a very good time to sit down and take stock of how you see yourself progressing. If a career change is on the cards then we will happily help you look at your options. You would be surprised how often people do switch paths after a career break.
5. What should I do to get ready to return?
Frankly, the best thing you can do is not much different than any other candidate. Work on your CV, polish up your opening letter and sit down with one of our advisors. Let us advise you and help with your career.
With very low unemployment and a skills shortage at the moment there has probably never been a better time to return to work after a career break. It could well be the best thing that happens in your career to date.