If you are planning to return to work after a career break, you may have discovered a whole host of worries. And a whole bundle of potential! Many parents I coach look to return to work when their youngest child starts school, so may have had a least five years, if not more, away from the job market. Even if you have worked recently, many find that the combination of rocketing costs of childcare and patchy flexible working cultures can lead them feeling like they don’t have many choices.
I’m here to tell you right now, you have.
Consider this. You are starting over; I call this Career 2.0. All the experience that you have up until now, INCLUDING your time as a parent, has enriched and developed your skills base. On a practical level, you have the potential to move into a new sector or industry where you can re-train, where previously, we are bound to certain salary levels and often the pride attached to titles.
How about this for a mind-blowing fact.
Some of the jobs you COULD apply for now, DIDN’T EXIST ten years ago ! Now you can become Social Media Managers, Sustainability Managers, Vlogger or an Android Developer. They didn’t exist in 2008.
Even the roles that did exist are changing, evolving over time. Job roles are putting more emphasis on skills like problem solving, communication, willingness to learn, tenacity and tolerance.
ALL the skills that are built and developed when you are parent, right!
Now that you can see all the glorious potential that you have, the next step is to work out, what next?
How to return to work after a career break
Looking for a new role, or a whole career, can feel like a needle in a haystack.
If your life is busy enough as it is, you may feel like you don’t have time to LOOK for a job, let alone do it. You are worrying about job interviews before you even apply for the role!
You may have so many options you end up with decision or analysis paralysis
You end up choosing nothing!
I am here to say, firstly, BREATTHHHEEEE. Secondly, you quite probably have the tools and resources around you already to start.
Not to make any immediate decisions. Just start.
Four steps to start your return to work job search, after a career break.
What are you good at?
Think about what you enjoy doing; that you know you are good at because of how it makes you feel and the feedback other give you. Then, consider what skills make you good at these things. How could they be applied to your work?
The biggest mistake many people make when they are job searching is to get stuck on a job title. Instead, have a look at the roles that are available now in the geographical locations that you could work in. Make the search as open as possible; consider the minimum salary you deserve and the locations you could work in, and just have a look through. If you want to see roles that have flexible working cultures, check out my blog here
Here’s a question for you. Do you know what jobs your friends and family have? If you do, do you know enough about what it entails?
Often, sources of career inspiration and opportunity are right in front of our faces! Discover what they do, what skills they needed, and what the role entails!
Social Media Stalk
This is one for the LinkedIn users only, but can be a useful tip for more research on the types of jobs that are available. Have a look at your connections and see how THEIR career progressed. You can get a feel for the path they have taken and the roles and responsibilities. It may not be as straight forward as you assume.
Feel free to connect with me and have a look at mine as an example.
Returning to work after a career break may take a little time, to find the right opportunity for you but the opportunities are out there. Start with understanding yourself and the job market first, which with strengthen your CV content, application form and help you smash that interview!
Want to join a supportive group of working parents? Join The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox.