How to Re-Enter the Workforce after a Long Hiatus

Life happens and you can often get sidetracked. Sometimes it can be for years. For instance, if you left a career to have kids then you have likely been out of the workforce for a number of years. Whatever the reason for the absence, if you are about to start looking for a new job after years of not working then you are likely feeling very intimidated by the thought of trying to get back into the workforce.

Although you will certainly face some challenges, it is not an impossible feat to work again after a long absence. It will take some planning and trying to position yourself well, but if you want to get back to work then you will be able to. In this article, we will go over several things that you should be doing to make sure that you are giving yourself the best chance at getting back into work after you’ve been on hiatus.

Update your resume

You are going to have a seriously long gap on your resume. That’s ok. It all depends on how you present yourself as to whether it is going to be a problem or not. If you send a cover letter along with the resume, then the employer will understand that you have been out of work for a while.

That doesn’t mean that you should leave out any relevant experience. In fact, whatever it was you were doing in recent years besides working was giving you experience that will be valuable to your new employer. You should make sure to highlight the skills that you’ve acquired since the last time you had a job.

For instance, if you were a busy mom then mention how you are able to coordinate and multitask like nobody else since that is what moms do. If you were doing some non-paid work then this is a good time to put it on your resume.

Prepare yourself ahead of time

You are definitely going to be rusty after not having a boss or work responsibilities for the last few years. This is a good time to do some sort of practice runs to get used to having to be somewhere and complete some tasks. What this means is that you can prepare to be hireable by doing some work ahead of time.

The easiest way to do this is to volunteer. This is going to look great on a resume and also build your confidence back up that you can work effectively and help you get back into the swing of things.

An additional benefit is that you will also be nurturing a network which is very important when you are looking to get back to work or have some guidance throughout your career. You will meet people that can help you get your first job and will be there when you need some advice.

Working in a part-time job that may have nothing to do with the job that you are looking to get is also a good idea. Once again, it will help you break the ice and get the first job jitters out of the way so you can hop onto the full-time job that you want much easier.

Be focused

Even though it may seem daunting to be out there once again looking for a job after so many years away, you are actually being presented with a unique opportunity. When you first join the workforce, generally you will take whatever job you get and follow a career path you think you should.

The opportunity that you have now is to work in an industry that is personally fulfilling and in a job that you will love to do. You are essentially starting with a clean slate. You can certainly go back into the field that you previously worked in and it will be logical to do so. If you are interested in other work, then you can start laying the foundation now to make that career change and start fresh in a new job.

Take some time to evaluate what you actually want to do and what you need to be able to get that type of job. It may require going back to school and getting a degree. Or, it may simply mean having to get some certifications.

This is going to help make sure that you will be happy in your new role and not just take on a job that you hate after all these years.

Get professional help

In the event that you are looking to get a specialized type of job that requires certain prerequisites, it makes sense to have somebody who can help you go through the paces to get that job. Some types of careers will be more difficult than others to break into and will need you to have certain things lined up.

This is where a career coach will come in handy as they can set you up on a path to help you land that dream job. This person will help you figure out which certifications are going to help and which are not.

Doing some mock interviews as you get close to the point when you will be applying for jobs will also help you fine-tune your approach to land a specific type of job.

Spread the word

When you are ready to get back to work, then it pays to let people in your professional and personal network know about the decision. They will keep their eyes open for possibilities and will let you know if they know somebody who is hiring for what you want to be doing.

You never know who knows the right people so even family members who are not in your field may end up being the key to finding your new job. Remember that this is the network of people that care the most for you and want to see you do well.

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