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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Moloney

You've made the decision to return to work after a career break - now where do you begin?

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

Have you taken a break from your career and now decided the time is right to re-enter the workforce?

This is not an uncommon scenario, as there are many reasons we may need to take a career break during our career journey. You may have taken time out for family caring reasons, you may have travelled, it could be due to illness, or you may have taken time off for study purposes.

Whatever the reason, making the decision to re-enter the workforce can be a really daunting time for many people. Some of the most common feelings experienced include a lack of confidence, feeling out of touch, feeling overwhelmed by the job search process, and feeling nervous about transitioning back into work.

Some people may know exactly what their next career move will look like, while others may be searching for new career direction which better aligns with their personal circumstances and motivations. Everyone has a different story. But there are things you can do to help make this process less daunting, and contribute to setting yourself up for success.

1. Engage in some self-exploration

There are several important reasons to make the time for some self-exploration. Becoming more self-aware not only helps you take steps in making meaningful career decisions, it also plays a very important role during your job search / job interview process, and in overcoming potential barriers. Understanding your strengths, interests, values, motivators, transferable skills and limitations are key to your success, and can really help boost your confidence. These may change over time for many people, which is why it's so important for 'self check-in's' from time to time to better understand ourselves.

2. Treat your job search like a project

There really is a lot to consider in looking for employment. This includes being clear on your goals, understanding best practice job search methods, how to utilise your networks, and how to effectively communicate to better sell yourself. Then there is job search communication tools to develop such as cover letters, your resume, and your online presence. You need to keep organised every step of the way to stay in control, and present yourself professionally. Having a plan and making goals to achieve during this process can really help your job search campaign.

3. Effectively prepare for job interviews

Getting yourself in front of a potential employer for a job interview can be challenging. It's a competitive market out there, and you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Once you are presented with the opportunity of an interview, it is vital you effectively prepare to give yourself the best chance of success. This includes knowing what research to undertake, really understanding the competencies required for the role and being able to align personal skills and achievements with these requirements, practicing various types of potential interview questions, and being clear on what you want to find out from the employer. Taking the time to prepare, as well as presenting yourself as professionally as possible, can go a long way in boosting your confidence and selling yourself effectively.

If you feel like you may need some help with this process, At the Helm Career Services provides tailored workshops and career services to help you navigate your return to work.

Please contact us, we would love to help you navigate your career journey.


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