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How to Step Back into Your Career After Extended Time Off

There are a plethora of reasons why a professional might take a break from their career. Some people chose to temporarily step away to start a family, pursue additional education, take time for traveling, or to take a self-discovery journey. Then, once they are done, they want to find a way to reintegrate into the workforce.

After taking a step back from your career, the idea of hopping back in might seem daunting. You might fear that employers will view your extended time away as a red flag or that your skills are outdated.

Luckily, it is possible to reignite your career after a break. Here’s how to do it.

How Do I Get Back Into My Career?

1. Do an Honest Assessment

Before you consider taking a job, it’s wise to do an honest assessment of your situation. You need to decide where you’d like to take your career before you starting searching for openings. Additionally, you need to examine your skill set to see if it genuinely aligns with your target roles.

If you’re break was extended, you might not be able to jump back into your career right where you left. Further, the path you were on before might not be ideal now. It’s best not to assume that a job that’s exactly like your last is a great match.

Instead, consider your new goals and assess what you bring to the table. You might need to adjust your job search based on your current circumstances, and it’s wise to figure out whether that’s necessary as early in the process as possible.

2. Update Your Resume

It’s always smart to update your resume before launching a job search. You can update the document formatting to make sure it reflects current trends. Plus, you can add details about what you did during your break if needed.

If you volunteered or took classes while you were away from the workforce, you’ll want to add these details to your resume. Often, volunteer positions can be listed in your work experience, even though you weren’t being paid for your time.

Anything learning-oriented should fit right into the education section of your resume. Whether it’s college classes, professional seminars, bootcamps, or individual courses, they should be listed if they relate to your career.

Plus, both educational pursuits and volunteer roles reduce or eliminate the presence of a gap in your resume. As a result, it’s wise to include them if you did them.

3. Tap Your Network

Members of your network can be an asset when you’re relaunching a career. These individuals already know you, so they likely won’t view your work history gap the same way a hiring manager you’ve never met might. Plus, they can function as your allies. If they refer you, the hiring manager may be less inclined to worry that your extended break would be an issue. You can also make sure that they are willing to be references, if appropriate.

4. Be Ready to Address the Gaps

When a career gap is lengthy, a hiring manager is almost guaranteed to ask about it. As a result, you need to be ready to discuss your break.

Make sure that you are honest but also concise. You don’t need to provide a ton of details to answer the question, so just tap on the reason you left the workforce. Then, pivot your answer to focus on the benefits of your break (such as experience through additional education or volunteer roles) and why you are excited to rejoin the workforce. By emphasizing your passion for relaunching your career, you can leave a positive impression, making your gap seem like less of a red flag.

Looking to get back into the workforce - but want help?

Ultimately, all of the tips above can help you step back into your career. If you’d like to know more or want to find a new job quickly and efficiently, the staff at TRC Staffing Services in the Dallas area can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our recruiters today and see how our services can benefit you.

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