You may have taken a long break from work to bring up your children or care for a relative. Or perhaps you took time out to go travelling or to recover from illness. Or maybe you have been working for yourself but work has dried up and you’re now looking for a more stable career.
Whatever your circumstances, returning to the workplace can seem daunting after a long break. You may feel that you lack the skills and experience to take up a role or that the industry you once worked in has changed beyond recognition. Here are some tips to making your back-to-work experience a success.
Don’t discount your experience
If you have worked in the past, it is likely that you already have some relevant skills and experience. And don’t forget that if you have been caring for someone, working for yourself or travelling, you will have added new skills and attributes to your repertoire. These might include organisation, money management, prioritisation, communication, commitment, initiative or adaptability. If you can’t think of anything you have gained, ask friends and family to describe you and take it from there.
Write a new CV
You probably haven’t updated your CV in a while and there’s no point sending out CVs that are out of date and contain significant gaps. Build on your previous CV, explaining what you have been doing in the meantime and what you have learnt from this. There are plenty of advice articles on CV-writing on Premier Jobsearch.
Rely on your support network
It’s important that you don’t feel like you’re doing this alone. Talk it through with friends, family members and church leaders. You can also use social media to network, make new connections and seek job opportunities. If you’re looking for a job that is similar to your previous role, it may be worth speaking to former colleagues and bosses. They may be aware of existing opportunities and even be willing to recommend you.
Taking on a fresh challenge
If you’re not planning to go back to the same job, it might be time for a completely fresh start. Think about your interests. What would suit you best? What are you qualified to do? Take time to research the options and keep an open mind.
Get the training you need
It might be that you have identified a job you would like to do but don’t have the relevant skills and experience. It may still be possible to apply, but perhaps you will need to get work experience or take a course to support your application. Undertaking some form of training can help you feel more equipped for the workplace and could bring you into contact with influential people.
Start off gently
You may feel nervous about returning to work, so perhaps the best option is to take on a part-time role so that you can ease your way back in gently. You could help out at local school, church or charity to get back into the habit of being back in the workplace. This might eventually turn into a full-time role, but either way it should certainly help to increase confidence levels. Get back into the discipline of setting an alarm clock so that you’re used to waking up at the same time every day, even if you haven’t yet found a new role.
God already knows what skills you have and what your interests are. He also knows what is best for you. Pray about your job search and allow him to guide your steps. Then when you find a great job remember to thank him and ask him to help you get back into the rhythm of regular work.