Whatever your reasons for taking a career break, it can be daunting to start the process of getting a role back in a partnership. It’s fairly common to be worried about:
- are my technical skills up-to-date?
- it’s a challenging time for getting a new job, will it be possible for me to actually get a job after my time out?
- will I still be able to do what I did?
1. Get the right mindset
The first thing to realise is that if you decide you will go back into a role in a partnership, you will. If you decide that the economic landscape is too challenging and you are unlikely to get a job, you won’t. Remember that this is a mindset thing, not a ‘is there a job available for me’ type thing. One of my clients is loving working with someone who has returned to work after a career break to look after children. She has an amazing skill set and he is able to provide flexible working conditions for her. It’s a win-win.
2. Identify what you actually want to do in your next role
When you are absolutely clear that you do want to go back, you need to identify what you want to go back to. In the short term, you may need to aim for interim rather than full time, or roles which are less challenging than the one you left. In fact, going back as an interim or contractor at a level below which you used to operate at, is a great way of getting roles back on your CV whilst you build up your confidence back in the workplace.
3. Sort out your CV and online profile
Depending on how long you have been out of the workplace, you may find that it is not all about your CV now. You need to sort out your online and offline profile. So, brush up your CV, and tailor it for the role you want to have. Make sure you find a plausible reason for your career break. Lots of people have these breaks and come back in a stronger mental mindset for the work ahead. Get your LinkedIn profile up to date, and add on ‘looking for a new role’ to your professional strapline on LinkedIn. Now start to hang out online and offline with the people who you would like to work with in the future. Seriously consider starting to write a blog to emphasise your personal and professional credentials. It’s a way of showcasing your expertise without having months of previous work history behind you.
4. If needed, brush up your technical skills
You may find that your professional body has a programme of free to attend or low-cost events where you can brush up on your technical skills. These are a low-risk way of getting back-up-to-speed and also meeting people who may be able to hire someone with your skills.
5. Start to spend time with people who could hire you
This may not always be the recruiters, well the traditional recruiters. Most traditional recruiters want to get someone who they can easily place. Not someone who may have a 12+ month gap on their CV, who ideally may want part-time work. However, agencies such as Capability Jane may be able to help you. Always remember that tour network is probably the most important way for you to find your next role. Use it! What else would you add to this list?