People take a break from their careers for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest is devoting time to child care when children are young and managing the busy life of a modern family. It’s one of the reasons why flexible staffing has become such an issue in the work world.
However, after a lengthy gap between jobs, someone returning to the job force will inevitably face questions about what they’ve done during this break. While they’re under no obligation to justify their decision to be stay-at-home parents for a period, it helps to have an answer ready when the subject comes up in interviews or at other junctures in the job-hunting process.
Getting back to work
You may feel that a transitional period is warranted before you plunge into seeking full-time employment after a career gap. There are a number of options that will get you back into professional mode and some of them may be right in your neighborhood.
Seek out volunteer work that makes use of your career experience. A local organization may need help with planning, finances, human resources, fundraising or management issues that could be right up your alley. You may even be able to dabble in an area you’re interested in but were never given a chance to explore.
Consider taking classes to shore up your computer skills or become up to date on work issues in your chosen field. There are many short-term programs at community colleges that can provide you with a certificate that enhances your previous experience or introduce you to a different line of work. Prospective employers trying to find experienced professionals would likely be impressed with your initiative to educate yourself before taking on a full-time job commitment.
We can also line up temporary assignments in jobs for moms that offer flexibility and scheduling that can see you through this transitional period. You’ll be exposed to a diverse selection of companies and work duties to get you ready for the job search ahead. For career changers, this is one way to find out about different professions without committing yourself to a job in a new area before you’re ready.
Having a renewed outlook
There are many paths you can take to securing your place once again in a full-time career. In job interviews, you may explain your personal reasons for taking a break but that should be tempered with how you’ve stayed current in your field, from remaining well-informed about new business developments to taking classes or an occasional freelance job.
The important thing is to let hiring managers know you still have the confidence and passion that made you successful in your field before you decided to take a break. Life experiences teach skills akin to those used on the job in an office every day, and often create a new outlook that enhances those abilities when it’s time to return to the workplace.