How To Find a Job After Time Out
A gap in your career to do the most important job of raising your young family does not signal the end. Admittedly, it can feel like when you make the decision to return to work. Taking time off can result in a dent in confidence and a feeling that you’ve missed too much to be able to get a foot back in.
It’s true that things may have changed a bit, depending on when you left employment, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t quickly settle back in. You’ll find that the skills you learnt prior to becoming a parent have not been forgotten and you will also have a whole host of new skills you’ve learnt during your time out.
In order for you to feel confident to get back in the game and to make sure you feel ready and equipped, use the checklist below.
Depending on your career path, it may be that taking time out means that you need to update your skills. Some qualifications only last for a certain length of time before they need to be retaken, or legislation in your profession might have changed and you might need to refresh. If you’re prepared, you may be able to update your skills during your time off through an evening class, independent study or online learning.
If you’re thinking of taking your career in a new direction, taking a course that is flexible around your childcare commitments whilst you’re not working is a great way of learning new skills.
Use the skills you’ve learnt as a parent
Updating your current knowledge is important, but don’t forget about the skills you will have learnt since becoming a parent. Being at home with your children will have equipped you with an arsenal of skills that you can use to your advantage when filling out a job application form. Focus on transferable skills that you’ve learnt, which will serve you in any job. You will have developed problem solving skills, patience, communication skills and time management skills just to name a few. Make sure you don’t overlook these as they will be integral to most job roles.
Research new career options
Taking time out from a career may cause you to re-evaluate what you what to do for a job. It’s never too late for a change, but it can be hard to leave a job once you’re in it. You don’t have that barrier, so use your time to research other careers you might be suited to or enjoy.
Research flexible contracts, self-employment and working from home
One of the toughest things about returning to work when you have a family is finding a role you enjoy which will also be flexible around family commitments. Many people find themselves working in jobs they don’t enjoy because the hours suit them better. This is very unfortunate, but don’t give up before researching your options. Employers have to be considerate to flexible working requests and more and more employers are becoming open to home working. This is a huge benefit if you have a family you need to work around.
Self-employment is another option that you may like to consider. Obviously this isn’t for everyone, but it does offer benefits in terms of choosing your own hours, taking on work that you want to do and fitting it around other commitments.
When you have decided what you want to do and are ready to start applying for jobs, get out there and start networking. Knowing someone in the business is a great way of getting a foot in the door. Speak to people in your field of interest, attend networking events and make useful connections. It’s also useful to use networking as a way to meet people in a similar position to yourself, so you have people to turn to for support.
Networking doesn’t just have to be in person. Social media has some fantastic networking tools available to help you meet the right people and find relevant jobs. LinkedIn will allow you to make connections with potential employers, join and participate in relevant groups and search for jobs. Twitter can also be a good platform for searching for jobs and making connections.
Hire a professional
Once you know what you want to do, you can always hire a career coaching professional or writer to help you create an effective CV, cover letter or just read some articles about interview tips. Selling yourself can often be the hardest part so outsourcing this to someone else can be a big help, especially if you’re not feeling as confident as you once did.