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There is no doubt that it can be intimidating to re-enter the workforce, for those who have taken a break in their career whether to start a family, travel around the world, care for an ailing parent, or anything in between like simply enjoy a break to rediscover yourself. You may you feel a little anxious about starting a new job or you may worry that your skills are a little tarnished because a lot has changed since you’ve been away from the workplace. But now is not the time to panic, this is the time to prepare yourself for the job search some time away. It matters less about having a career gap, and more about showcasing your potential employer how the experience you gained before and during your break can make you an asset to their team. If you feel you’re in this situation, here are five effective tips to help increase your chances of getting hired following a career break. Take one step at a time, and you’ll be chit chatting at the water-cooler in no time.

#1 Analyze your current situation to gain clear understanding of your intentions:

Many people tend to make the mistake of jumping straight back into the first job they can find. But before applying for a position or even updating your resume, it’s important that you sit aside and spend some time thinking about what’s important to you in your new career. Consider the 4 P’s to make your analysis little easier: Position, Pay, Place and Path. 
  • Position: What kind of role you want to pursue in your next endeavor? Something similar to your previous skills and experience, or you wish to make the move you always dreamt of and try something completely different and new? Remember if you secure a job that isn’t suitable, you will find yourself job hopping frequently until you find the right one. What was right for you before your career break may not be the best for you now.
  • Pay Scale: What’s your desired salary range? Will you be flexible on that number if there are great benefits or perks, like great health insurance? Having an idea of what matters the most will help you evaluate total compensation more holistically.
  • Place: Find out time to really think about where you want to work. Would you want your potential employer to offer flexible working conditions or you would prefer lot of opportunity to socialize with colleagues? Consider what work environment will motivate you to do your best work.
  • Path: What career path are you hoping to follow once you return to work? Are you looking for something temporary or do you wish to rise through the ranks in your new role?

#2 Explore your strengths:

It’s quite common for you to believe that a career gap on your CV has lessened your chances of getting a job. However, instead of seeing it as a stumbling block, see it as something beneficial that can differentiate you from other candidates. You should have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and according to these you can match your skill set to a career opportunity that you’re interested to pursue. Remember all the new skills you have practiced and developed the entire time away from the workforce like transferable skills such as communication, organization or project management.

#3 Revamp your resume:

Once you’ve figured out the type of roles you’d like to apply for, and the kind of company you’d prefer to work for, it’s time to clean up your résumé. If you’re finding it hard to describe your time away from the workforce, don’t overthink it. List all the new skills you may have developed during your break, and explain how these can correspond to the job you’re applying for. For example, did you take a diploma or certification course specializing in new technology? Did you do some volunteer work in your free time or develop your leadership skills, which will help you to lead a team more effectively? Or perhaps travelling the world helped to boost your confidence?

#4 Reconnect with your network:

LinkedIn is known to be recruiter’s playground, so being active and visible there will get you noticed by the right people and opportunities. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to set one up.  Spend some time to reach out to your previous colleagues, clients, friends and family. Let them know that you’re seeking a new role. They might have the perfect job opportunity for you or be able to show you the right direction. This is also a good time to prepare any potential references that could support your job search.

#5 Practice your pitch:

After you’ve done all the preparation, and now it’s time for you to nail your pitch until you’re comfortable and confident. Read up on few tips for nailing an interview which will help you confidently answer questions about your past experiences, your desires for the future, and your career gap. Remember honesty is the key. Make it clear what you did during your break and why you considered it as the right thing for you to do. Also, don’t forget to identify and practice your unique value proposition.

Conclusion: Everyone has their own career path

Taking a career break is more common than you may think, despite the stigma that the potential candidates will fill that void. Don’t forget everyone has different career ladders and they climb at their own pace depending on their personal and professional goals in life. You can also look for companies that have set-up return-ship programs that will offer you extra support while you find your feet in the workplace. Returning to work should be an exciting time, not a nerve-rackingone. So if you’re feeling apprehensive about beginning your journey back into workforce after a career break, keep these tips handy to put you on the right path with renewed confidence. Do visit Pragna Technologies website for more blogs.