How to kick start your career after a long hiatus

Career concept

So, you’ve taken a break from your career and, it has been a pretty long one. But how can you get back in the game? You were a pro in your job while you’ve worked. However, when you look back and think about it, it seems such a distant reality. You end up wondering how capable you were back then and how daunting it appears now!

Every person after a career break goes through the same dilemma. Has the world changed so much? Will I be able to adjust to the new team when I get a job? What if I can’t perform well? Is this all worth the energy I’m investing in? These are the common questions we get in our heads whenever we think of career change or getting back to a job after a gap.

Suddenly, the world seems like a gigantic place that used to be your playground before. It does take a toll on your confidence and personality when facing the big bright world. But what if I told you that it’s all in our heads and those monsters aren’t real? At all! Just with a few simple tricks, you can master yourself and face the world with all your might.

People take a break from career for various reasons, 

  • Further education
  • Family demands more of your time
  • Job layoffs
  • A change in your career path 

Regardless of the reasons, everyone finds it challenging while restarting their career. The common ground for this is – A Gap.

Skill Gap: Let’s be honest first. With the advent of technology, mankind has achieved an overwhelming lot in the last 20 years than the previous generations that took decades and decades. This fact determines the cutthroat competition we have if we want to make a living in this fast-paced world.

The requirements for your job were different from when you were hired to now. The same job now requires a different approach and a better way to finish the task at hand. As the parameters change, the skillset needs are updated as well. And because of the career break, we usually fail to know about those as we haven’t been in touch.

Time Gap: As you take a break from the current job, it would also mean you’re taking a break from learning its updates as well. The processes in any industry keep updating every six months. So, when you’re trying to get back, the time gap matters the most as you need to get yourself updated first.

The first question any recruiter will ask in an interview is – Why?. Why was there a gap? And, if it’s due to your personal reasons, it would be usually frowned upon. Corporates understand no personal life and don’t appreciate anyone prioritizing family over work!

To satisfy the corporate lords, you need to come up with a clever answer. An answer that explains that you were learning a new skill set while having a break always comes in handy.

Here are some steps to help you update and get your professional self back in the race,

Work on your network: It’s just not an ‘in’ thing, but it helps you connect to different people from different sectors. It will help you understand where you stand and how much work do you need to put in. LinkedIn is a professional network where you can connect to literally any person in the world without being concerned about the hierarchy. 

Another great platform that will help you gain contacts is GetEmail.io. This email search platform can get you the official email address of any person on this globe. This app is efficient and effective! It also comes with a chrome extension to LinkedIn where it helps you find the official contact of all of your connections. You can use these tools to network with different people to get a perspective of the job that you’re looking for.

Unlearn & Relearn: agreed that we need to learn new things to be relevant to the changing times. But it is also important to unlearn what you already have and relearn the same with a different approach. Having computer skills these days is way different from the skillset that was a decade ago! 

Learn a new skill by applying it to online programs. Thanks to the pandemic, the world has brought us a new way of educating ourselves. Top universities are providing exceptional programs for everyone. Enrol yourself in the programs and learn a new skill or upgrade the existing one.

Be a fresher: It might sound icky for the experienced because of the expertise you’ve gained over years. Nobody would want to start from scratch when you’ve already been through it. But it is vital to be a student first to get to understand the fresh perspective. 

Try freelancing or be an intern in a start-up! Yes, the payment will be less but, you will get first-hand industry experience. It will fetch you the knowledge that no corporates can give. It will also elevate your resume in the recruiter’s eye.

Ask & you shall get: The most common mistake we all make as experienced people is never to seek help from our peers. Maybe you feel too dignified or just shy to let people know that you are seeking references. Going out on your own is exceptional only when you’re solo traveling to a new country! But, not when you’re searching for a job.

The more you discuss with your companions, the better insights you will get for your career search. It might as well lead to the beginnings of a new endeavour. Connect to your old colleagues or long-lost college friend; you’ll never know which contact will help you at the right time! 

Instead of being vague, let your peers know the specific profile that you’re looking for. It will help both parties to narrow down the search. Talking to people will give you current and in-depth information than searching over it online.