Getting a Job after the Career Break and going back into the workforce after taking a break might feel challenging, but
It’s absolutely doable.
Taking a career break doesn’t diminish your value or skills. In fact, it can add unique experiences and perspectives to your professional toolkit.
The key lies in shifting the narrative from seeing the break as a setback to viewing it as a stepping stone for personal and professional growth.
So, let’s turn your career break into a career opportunity with the right approach.
Steps to Get a Job After the Career Break
Step 1: Self-Assessment
- Identify the reasons for the break
Acknowledge the factors behind your career break, be it personal reasons, further education pursuits, or other circumstances.
Understanding these reasons is like shining a light on your journey. It lets you talk about the skills and strengths you gained during the break. Instead of seeing the break as a problem, you can show it as a valuable part of your growth.
- Consider the duration
Gauge the duration of your career break. If it was a short break, you might focus on the skills you picked up. For a longer break, you might need a more detailed plan, like learning new things, connecting with people, and addressing any concerns employers might have about the time away.
Knowing the length of your break helps you tell your story better. It shows employers that you’re aware of your journey and have a plan for coming back. It’s like having a roadmap for your return to work that fits the unique details of your break.
Step 2: Skill Enhancement
- Continuing education
Immerse yourself in continuous learning. Platforms like Coursera offer “Guided Projects,” allowing you to apply your skills in real-world scenarios and providing tangible evidence of your capabilities on your CV. Imagine it as a continuous journey of learning.
The more you invest in expanding your knowledge, the more equipped you become to handle the challenges of the evolving job market. It’s not just about what you learn; it’s about how you can use that knowledge in practical situations, making you a valuable asset in the workforce.
- Build your portfolio
Actively engage in projects, whether personal or collaborative. These endeavors not only demonstrate theoretical knowledge but also showcase practical experience, underscoring your commitment and recent involvement in your field.
Think of projects as your portfolio of achievements. They speak louder than words on a resume. Whether it’s creating a website, developing a small app, or contributing to a community initiative, these endeavors show your commitment and recent engagement in your field.
Employers appreciate seeing not just what you know but how you’ve applied that knowledge to create something tangible.
Step 3: Acquire Certifications and Skills for In-Demand Jobs
Focus on acquiring certifications and skills currently in demand. This enhances your marketability and shifts the focus from your employment gap to your valuable skill set.
Platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and edX offer various courses and certifications across various industries.
Step 4: Justify Career Break in Resume
Adding a career break to your resume might seem like a red flag to potential employers, but the key is to communicate the value of that break effectively. Here’s a guide on how to justify your career break in your resume when applying for a job:
1. Mention the duration of your break in months
Career break: April 2022–January 2023
2. Briefly mention the reason for your break
I took a much-needed break to focus on my health and recuperate from a medical condition that was affecting my daily life.
3. Add what you did during that time and How it will contribute to this position
During my career break, I enrolled in a [XYZ course], and now I’m excited to put my newly acquired skills into practice.
1. Career break: April 2022–January 2023
I took a much-needed break to focus on my health and recuperate from a medical condition that was affecting my daily life. During my career break, I enrolled in a [ XYZ course], and now I’m excited to put my newly acquired skills into practice.
2. Career break: January 2022–January 2023
After leaving my job at [XYZ organization], I took some time off to re-evaluate my career goals.
During this time, I volunteered with local organizations, learned new languages, and gained interpersonal skills. This experience broadened my perspective and made me a unique problem-solver. I’m excited to bring these skills to a new role and make a positive impact.
Interview questions about employment gaps are inevitable. Here are the refined sample responses:
- Can you explain this gap in your employment history?
During that period, I took a sabbatical to focus on personal development and self-discovery. It allowed me to reassess my career goals and gain clarity on my strengths. I used this time to take courses in leadership and communication, enhancing my abilities that are directly applicable to the collaborative nature of this role.
- What did you do during your time off?
Recognizing the importance of adaptability in the ever-changing work landscape, I dedicated time to learning new technologies and tools relevant to my field. I completed online courses and engaged in hands-on projects to ensure that my skills remained not only up-to-date but also ahead of industry expectations.
- How will your experience during the gap benefit our company?
While on my career break, I remained actively engaged with industry publications, attended webinars, and joined professional forums. This kept me well-informed about the latest developments, and I even contributed articles to industry blogs, demonstrating my commitment to staying connected and sharing knowledge.
- How did you stay updated with industry trends during your career break?
During my career break, I remained actively engaged in industry webinars, subscribed to relevant publications, and joined professional forums. This commitment allowed me to stay abreast of emerging trends and advancements, ensuring I brought the latest knowledge to contribute to your team.
- Can you share any specific challenges you faced during your career break and how you overcame them?
One challenge to getting a job after the career break was adapting to the shift in industry technologies. To overcome this, I enrolled in targeted online courses, participated in hands-on projects, and sought mentorship from professionals. This proactive approach helped me navigate the changing landscape effectively.
- Were there any personal achievements or milestones you reached during your employment gap?
While on a break, I dedicated time to a personal project that I’m proud of. I successfully [describe the project], demonstrating my ability to set and achieve goals independently. This experience enhanced my project management skills, which I believe aligns well with the responsibilities of this role.
- How did you handle the transition when re-entering the workforce?
Returning to the workforce involved a transition period where I intentionally sought feedback and mentorship. I also participated in workshops to refresh my skills and attended networking events to rebuild professional connections. This transition was crucial for me to smoothly integrate back into a dynamic work environment.
- Can you provide examples of continued learning or certifications you pursued during your career break?
During my career break, I dedicated time to enhancing my skill set. I completed certifications in [specific area], emphasizing my commitment to continuous improvement. These certifications not only added to my qualifications but also reflected my proactive approach to professional development.
- How do you plan to manage stress and fast-paced environments, considering your time away from the workforce?
I’m no stranger to high-pressure situations. During my career break, I actively engaged in [stress-management activities and participated in scenarios that simulated fast-paced work environments. This proactive preparation ensures that I am well-equipped to handle the challenges and demands of a dynamic workplace.
- Did you utilize your time off to explore new industries or career paths?
Absolutely. I took advantage of my career break to explore different industries through informational interviews and short-term projects. This exploration not only broadened my perspective but also allowed me to bring diverse insights to the table, making me adaptable and open-minded when approaching challenges.
✅ Points to Remember
▪️ Don’t hide or lie about your career break. This will show potential employers that you are untrustworthy. Be open and honest about it, and you’ll probably end up in their good books.
▪️ It’s okay if you didn’t have the chance to upskill yourself during your break. Be honest about the reason and focus on highlighting your achievements and results from your previous job.
▪️ Lastly, don’t feel shy or apologetic about your career break. There can be many reasons behind taking a break, and there is absolutely nothing to feel sorry about. Embrace it, and showcase how it has contributed to your growth and readiness for the next chapter in your professional journey.
In conclusion, a strategic approach involving self-assessment, continuous skill enhancement, proactive networking, and a well-structured CV can significantly amplify your chances of securing a job after a career break.
Remember, your skills and dedication matter more than the gaps in your employment history.