Stop for a minute, and imagine the most frightening thing you can think of. For some, this may be that creepy clown at a local fair, with the chalky white face and black eyes that stalk your every move. For others, it may be a hairy, giant tarantula or perhaps the fear of failing those final university exams. For the majority of people, returning to the workforce after a prolonged break could be described as the most daunting of them all.
Long term absence from the workforce can occur for a number of reasons. Perhaps you took time off to study that course you’ve always wanted to. Perhaps you decided to devote your time in it’s entirety to raising a family. Maybe you wanted to follow your desire to focus on a hobby you’re passionate about such as photography or painting. Perhaps you have been overseas travelling and exploring treasures of the world you never knew existed. Regardless of the reason for your leave from the workforce, we all come across the same issues when returning.
Whether you’ve taken a couple months off, or a couple years off work, returning is never easy. Some of the tell tail traits acting as barriers for many in re-joining the workforce include a variety of factors such as confidence issues, anxiety, fear of the unknown, an outdated resume or obsolete skills in technology. Don’t worry; you are not alone with your concerns.
Once you have identified your desire to return to the workforce, there are several questions our directing manager Kathryn MacMillan recommends asking yourself before beginning to apply for jobs such as:
• Where am I now?
• What type of role should I be looking for?
• How will I maintain a work and family balance?
• Do I need to retrain?
• How do I write my resume?
Answering these crucial questions will be paramount in successfully returning to the workforce through guiding you to determine a variety of factors in your life that have the potential to impact your career. For example, you will be able to establish your current commitments and subsequently the amount of work you are able to handle.
Here are 4 TIPS for returning to the workforce:
1. Networking – Take advantage of old colleagues, family, friends, acquaintances or even a former employer you got along well with! Contact them and communicate that you are searching for work to scout potential job opportunities. This is highly important! A simple recommendation could be an invaluable tool to get your foot in the door.
2. Be upfront – If you have been out of the paid workforce for a long period of time, be upfront with prospective employers and explain in your cover letter or interview why you have been out of the work for an extended period of time. Discuss any achievements you accomplished during your absence such as to pursue further study or work in a voluntary position.
3. Retrain – Technology is moving at such a rapid pace it can be difficult to keep up, especially if you have been absent from the workforce! In order to be on the same level playing field as other job seekers, it may be time to retrain your skills to ensure you’re up to date with general office applications. For some this may involve watching some basic online tutorials to reacquaint yourself with these applications, whilst for others it may involve enrolling in a basic computer course.
4. Time to update your resume – Your resume is what SELLS you and is often one of the first impressions your employer will have of you. If you’ve had some time off work for a few years, chances are listing your recent work history may be challenging. Having a gap of several years on your resume is not ideal. Instead, focus on other things you did during your break to demonstrate how you made the most of your time such as studying, being apart of community committees or doing volunteer work overseas.
Still unsure about returning to the workforce? Give us a call today on 1300 923 000 to find out more about our career workshops.
Let us help you and give you a kick start to your career…again!
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.