Getting back on the workforce bandwagon after a long break
We’ve heard stories of working women go on a two to four, sometimes a ten year career break once they’ve entered motherhood. While some are able to re-join the workforce almost immediately after their maternity break, not everyone’s lifestyle or ‘preferred’ priorities align with what they alone want to do.
It’s noteworthy to see that maternity is not the only reason why women either leave their jobs or take longer breaks. A survey of 700 women across India by Mumbai-based start-up, Kool Kanya, revealed eight factors that impact a women’s career - work culture, learning opportunities, work satisfaction, female representation, salary benefits, safety, work-life balance, and maternity benefits.
Seventy-eight percent of women confessed to the fact that their work got uninteresting and boring. Only 42% have access to conferences, technical knowledge, and skill development opportunities to help build their careers. This has led to a significant number of women dropping out of the workforce.
No matter how long a break or the reason behind it, it is only natural to want to get back on track either in the same field or try out a different one. So, if you’re seeking advice or guidance on how to restart your career, we’re here to help you get back on the workforce bandwagon with some relevant tips.
Plan your future before going on a break
Let’s start with the most obvious - plan ahead. Strategizing your options during and after the break is crucial. This will help streamline the process. You need to start by articulating your expectations from this break and how they will benefit you in the future. It would be wise to consider a second career option just in case you want to leave your current field for good.
Keep your professional skills updated
Just because you’re on a long break does not mean you should stop learning. From staying updated with the latest trends to enrolling for a course to upgrade your knowledge, among other options are what you should consider.
If the reason for your break is medical, or you just want to learn new skills from the comfort of your home, try taking up online courses. We’ve aggregated for you a number of learning options to fill your skill gap with either online courses or free Youtube or Vimeo tutorials and even industry-expert curated learning pathways. Our recommendations are based on your career interests, the skills you wish to develop, and other preferences such as duration, budget, whether or not you want to pursue a course that offers certification or one that is affiliated with a renowned university, and many others. This can help you stay up-to-date with latest industry trends.
Networking is the key to growth, even when you’re on a break Don’t forget your workmates and previous colleagues once you’ve stopped working. Keep in touch with them to stay updated about what’s going on in your field. You can share your learnings through social media, especially through your LinkedIn network. Also, connecting with like-minded individuals by attending expos and seminars will help open more relevant opportunities, especially once the break is over.
Keep working as a freelancer If you’re good at something, why not leverage your skills to make some money while you’re on a break? Not only will it give you a sense of financial flexibility, but also keep you in the game while being able to work on your own terms. Working as a freelancer or remote working could also introduce you to new potential employers.
Re-evaluate your situation while you still have time Our thought process and motivations change with time and as we progress in our career graph. When you chose your current job, your motivations might have been different from what they are today. So, a break would be a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your past and current motivations.
You need to ask yourself if you’re still motivated about working in the same field or for the same employer. A few additional considerations to make while re-evaluating your career choice are job satisfaction and salary corresponding to your time and efforts.
When you’re looking to get back to work after a long break, it isn’t as simple as forwarding your resume by clicking the submit button. However, restarting your career successfully can be done with proper planning and honest re-evaluation of your current and potential options.
Do you have some career tips to re-enter the workplace? Share your advice in the comments section to help everyone benefit from them.