U-turns in Life — Returning to the workplace
Transitioning back to the workplace after a career break isn’t always easy. Things can change very quickly in the world of work, and you may have to adjust to a changed environment when you return. Be prepared for this and realise that it might take you a little bit of time and adjustment to settle back in.
Depending on how long you are out of the workforce, potential employers might have concerns that you are out of touch. You will need to convince them that your skills are still relevant and you might even need to up-skill and update your CV before returning to work. Make sure that your LinkedIn Profile is up to date and use other social media platforms regularly to show that you are keeping pace of industry or sector trends. Make sure you get the message across that you are now ready and able to return to work and that the reasons you needed the career break are no longer the same or have lightened (e.g caring for an elderly relative, children now in school etc). Now that your situation has changed, let them know that you are now highly motivated to return to work and eager to make a full contribution.
When at interview don’t forget to talk about additional skills that you may have developed while on a career break e.g. multitasking, budgeting, handling conflicts etc. and be sure to highlight anything relevant that you may have been involved in while on your career break.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get through the first few interviews — learn from these and adjust your approach accordingly. Advance planning and preparation is the key to making a successful return to work. Firstly, identify the organisations who are hiring and suitable available roles. Update your CV and get it out there either through responding to adverts, through agencies or through sending it directly to your chosen companies. Also don’t forget to let friends and workplace acquaintances know that you are looking for work, often they will know of suitable roles and might even be able to put forward your CV and recommend you to the Hiring Manager.
If you continue to experience difficulty getting through the interview process you might consider getting some professional coaching from a career coach.
I will post some preparation and interview techniques in the coming days. I will also share with you the main reasons why candidates don’t always succeed at interview and what you can do to give yourself the best possible chance of success.