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Getting A Job After Significant ‘Career Breaks’
While reasons like family issues, study breaks or health related concerns etc. are taken as reasonable issues, lay offs are not, especially in countries like India where individuals looking to get back to work after a lay off are looked down upon.
What you need to consider
An individual who is thinking of getting back to work after a break needs to take several issues into consideration. This would necessarily inlcude details like which organisation he/she would want to work for in the future, his/her new role, adaptability to the new concern and most important of all, how he/she would be viewed as in the new company.
Before you actually start hunting for a job after a pretty long sabbatical, you would need to take a few very important points into consideration. Here are a few tips to help you out.
Now that you have been out of a job for quite some time, you would need to ascertain as to whether you still want to go back to the same line of work or try another area you are familiar with.
Sit down for a moment and think about whether you would really be interested and happy in your old job, or would prefer something else that inspires you more. Once you have come to a clear understanding of what you really want to work as, you can go about checking for suitable positions for the same role.
Necessary Additions to your resume
As and when you are ready to get back to work after a significant break, check whether your educational qualifications would suit the current standards set by the company you wish to work for.
If you find your degree to be outdated or insignificant with respect to the requirements set by the concern, try to opt for an academic program or any other course that would offer youa degree in the field you are looking to work in.
Who said you can’t garner any experience while staying at home? Make sure to add details of any kind of volunteer work or responsibility you had under taken during your break. It also pays to make note of the experiences you gained while staying at home. For example, skills like multitasking, financial responsibilities, and home management can be emphasised on for a better feel.
Most of us tend to opt for more casual clothes while at home. But once you decide to get back to work, you need to make sure that your wardrobe has all the essentials needed for a workplace environment. This would typically include formal suits and accessories.
So if your wardrobe is missing any or all of these items, make sure to do some shopping first and stock up the same with some formal clothes and accessories. You never know when you will be called for an interview. So be prepared!
If you are looking for a job after a break in your career, here are a few useful tips to impress your future employers.
Check for old openings
The best way to try to get back to work in the first place would be to scout your old concern for openings. The company you worked for before would have first hand information about your skills and professional abilities.
Call some of your ex colleagues or friends who might be working in the same concern you worked for before and see if they can help you get in. If you have an online network, keep it up to date about your career break and the reasons for the same. This way, you can also ask for leads through your network and companies scouting for employees will also get to know about your intentions.
It also pays to ask your friends to act as references for you, should the need arise. An ex-colleague would be more knowledgable of your personal and professional traits, including specific skills and abilities. Gather at least a few good references who can vouch for you in case they get a call from the company that is hiring you. This in turn would brighten your prospects of getting selected by the concern.
The next option would be to search for positions or roles that are similar to your previous role. Make sure to hand out copies of your resumes to placement firms and job search websites. Send your friends a copy too. Don’t feel ashamed to say that you are out of a job and need their help. Let everyone know that you are looking for a job. This is the best way to get a quick response.
Specific Reasons for Break
Keep your resume updated and include the reason for the break in your career in it. While some reasons like educational and travel leaves can be explained in detail on the resume itself, other reasons like family issues and health concerns will not look good when put down on paper and will attract unwanted attention from those who view your resume and then call you to grieve.
In these cases, you can use marginal terms to specify the reason for the break and then explain it in detail during the interview. It is best considered to be truthful about the reason for your career to your employers lest they come to know about the same later.
Don’t be apologetic
Again, when coming back after a break, try to focus on skills you may have learnt during the break. Don’t burden your employers with your family situation and other difficulties they least care about. There is no need to be either apologetic or negative about your career break, be it for personal reasons or lay offs.
Rather, try to win them over by being positive and focusing on your newly acquired talents and strengths. Approach interviews with confidence and determination. Your self assurance should show itself in the way you speak with your interviewers. Accordingly, make sure to maintain regular eye contact and a good posture while being clear and definite in your answers. There is no harm in saying that you do not know an answer to a particular question rather than fumbling for it in front of the entire panel.
Remember, there is just no right way or any clear cut standards to search for a job. The only way to be successful about the same is to be sincere in your efforts and continuously think and work towards getting a new job with gusto. It may take some time but you will be rewarded in the end.
Photo Credit: Rediff.com