How to Return to a Career After a Break
Taking a break from your career is not a bad thing. A lot of professionals choose to go on a hiatus for different reasons. Some do it to spend more time with their families. Others choose to travel and acquire more experience. Regardless of the reason for your career break, returning to professional life will be a challenge.
That challenge, however, is worth overcoming. The market is growing at an exciting rate despite recent uncertainties, which means there are more career opportunities to seize going forward. You also have the opportunity to enter an entirely new field if you want to do a career shift. Before you do, here are the best tips on returning to a career that you need to know.
Set a Date
Returning to work isn’t something you can do overnight. You have to plan for your return, decide the field you want to enter, and find a job that suits your personal requirements (and expectations) before you can go back to professional life.
The process, however, needs to start at some point, and that point needs to be predetermined. You need time to prepare yourself mentally and professionally and having a target date helps with the whole process.
Let’s say you want to go back to your life as a professional within a year. This means you need to start taking steps towards that return at least 6 months before the target date; in fact, you can spend more time working on your career to be safe.
From that target date, work backwards and begin plotting the things you need to do before you can restart your career. Through this process, you’ll know exactly when to start looking for jobs and complete other tasks along the way.
Learn About the Industry
Speaking of completing tasks to return to a career, there are a number of things you need to do before you start becoming an interesting candidate for companies. One of those tasks is relearning the industry. A lot can happen during your career break, so you have some catching up to do.
Do a quick research on your industry. What are the latest happenings in the market? What new changes do you need to learn? Who are the industry leaders and experts? The goal of doing research on your industry is to refresh your skills and industry knowledge.
While you are at it, reach out to industry experts and fellow professionals. Now is the perfect time to rebuild and refresh your professional network. Fortunately, you now have LinkedIn to help you; finding the right people to connect with is a lot easier in the social media era.
You can also leverage industry-related conferences and events. Industry events present perfect opportunities to reconnect with your industry. The same is true for when you are trying to enter a new field and do a career shift.
Last but certainly not least, you want to make yourself more appealing (and valuable) to future employers. This means taking active steps towards mastering new skills and upgrading yourself as a professional. The wealth of short courses available today are definitely worth checking out.
You can go a step further and take your career break as the perfect time to go back to school. Top universities like Redlands University Online are opening their online programs to more students. You don’t need to attend classes to earn a master’s degree in various fields.
Online degrees are considered more valuable today due to the up-to-date curriculums they are associated with. More importantly, online programs are accredited and follow the same strict standards as their offline counterparts.
There is also the fact that online degrees are substantially more affordable and flexible than their offline counterparts. You can earn the same master’s degree in your specific field online without having to cut your world exploration short.
Go Through the Process
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, returning to a career is a challenge. Even after completing these steps, you will still have to send out job applications and go through interviews to land your dream job. Don’t let the process discourage you in any way.
Why? Because the reward at the end of the process is well worth every challenge. With the market bustling with opportunities, there is no better time to plan a return to professional life than today. You have all the time in the world to do research, build a stronger network, and upgrade yourself to secure a brighter career path. You will be on your way to an even better career in no time.