Whether you decide to stay home to raise a family, or take a year’s sabbatical travelling the globe, a career break can be an amazingly rewarding time in your life. The joy this time can bring is matched only by the fear of returning to work after your break!
When you’ve seen the world, the kids are back at school, your personal project has been completed and it’s time to return to the work force, it is understandably scary.
There is the fear of;
- That you won’t be able to pick up a similarly skilled role to the one you left
- Struggling to do a good job
It’s a fraught time. Here are a few tips to overcome your career break and make the process a little easier for you.
Top tips to overcome your career break
The “gap” on paper
Describing the career break on your CV is the first hurdle. Your first instinct may be to just slip it in, with as little detail as possible, but this would be a mistake. Put it in and add detail. What were you doing? What skills did you learn? List any projects you took on, even if it was managing your kitchen extension. Did you run any parenting groups? Organise any parties? Often, you will have done many relevant activities that could really enhance your skills within a work place. These are not worthless things and you should be proud to showcase them.
Frank cover letter
Create a cover letter detailing the reasons why you took a career break, why you want to return to work, and most importantly, why you want to go back into THAT role. If you’re returning to the same career, explain how you can’t wait to get back to what you were previously doing. Emphasise all the positives, so the recruiter is in no doubt that you are 100% committed to returning to work.
Believe it or not, one of your biggest hurdles will be self-belief. Many people feel that they have missed too much, that their skills are no longer relevant, or they might envisage difficulty in implementing those skills they had previously. Take a deep breath, peruse your CV, and look at all the amazing things you have achieved. Perhaps do a few online tests to prove you aren’t as rusty as you thought.
This will be the trickiest bit. The employer will undoubtedly question your break, and they will be keen for you to prove that you have a lasting commitment to returning to the work force. Emphasise the positive aspects of your break, and make sure you convey the reasons you are ready to return to work, whilst clarifying your long term plan. Be succinct and show your ambition. You are just as capable as someone who has been in continuous employment, let your words prove it.
Importantly, whilst discussing your previous jobs, don’t talk about them as if they took place centuries ago. Highlight key achievements and show you’re still proud of them.
Don’t be put off
The average job search takes 10 weeks and 3 failed interviews. If you don’t get the role, don’t be disheartened and don’t fall into the trap of blaming your career break. There are numerous factors that contribute to a successful a job search, so make sure you retain your enthusiasm.
And remember those famous words…..if at first you don’t succeed…..!
Returning to work?
Are you returning to work after a career break and interested in joining the team at Designated PA? Submit your CV and we will be in touch.