How Do I Get Back Into Work After A Career Break? Employment

There are several reasons why you may need to take a career break – and all of them are valid. However, after being out of the loop for a length of time, getting back in the swing of things can be tricky. But it’s not impossible. With the right plan of action and support, you can make the transition back to work easily and with minimum fuss. Not to mention start a whole new exciting chapter of your career.

How To Get Back Into Work After A Career Break

In this article we’ll look at the ways you can get back into work after a career break. At Building Better Opportunities, we support unemployed individuals in Stafford and South Staffordshire find work and achieve a better work-life balance. Read on to see our top tips for getting back into work after a break and, if you need a bit more help, contact us to have a chat about your options.

Step 1: Take Stock Of Where You Are

Before you start refreshing your CV or using job search websites to look at opportunities, take stock of where you are. You will not only need to mention your career break in your CV, but you will also need to explain your career break to a potential employer at the interview stage. These types of questions aren’t there to catch you out. Instead, they help an employer form a picture of you. Therefore, it’s important to reflect on your current situation and formulate an answer to these kinds of questions.

As well as this, assessing your current situation will help you to understand what you need from a job. For example, if you have caring responsibilities then you may need to consider working hours and location. When it comes to finding work after a career break, it’s easy to get caught up in the search. However, you should assess what you need and want to help inform your search. So, make sure you pause before you dive in!

Step 2: Get Into A Routine

If you have been out of work for a while you’ve most likely developed your own routines. If that is the case, you should start to ease back into a working routine. This can start with waking up early and getting ready for the day at a basic level. If you have been out of work for a work and are worried about how you will get back into the swing of things you could explore volunteering opportunities.

Volunteering is a fantastic way to ‘sample’ an industry or job without making a firm commitment. As well as this, volunteering in any capacity will support you in building your experience and finding your feet again in the world of work. The great thing about volunteering is that it can be as flexible as you need it to be, so if you feel like you need to gently ease yourself back in – you can!

Step 3: Refresh Your CV

Before you start applying for jobs, you should also take some time to refresh your CV. It is important that you explain any gaps in your employment history. While you don’t need to go into great detail about what you did during your career break, you should acknowledge it by putting the dates and the reason for the break in the ‘Employment History’ section of your CV.

If you undertook any voluntary positions or got involved in any important events or clubs during your career break, you should absolutely mention these and explain the type of skills you used and experience you gained from it.

Step 4: Create A Cover Letter

Your cover letter is the perfect place to explain your career break. In this short letter (no more than a page) you should detail why you took a career break and why you want to return to work. You can also use your cover letter to communicate your passion and enthusiasm for the sector or tell an employer that you are looking to take on a new challenge.

We recommend that you personalise every cover letter you send to the job you are applying for. This will show an employer that you have taken the time to read the job description/person specification and shows how keen you are to undertake the role. This doesn’t mean that you have to write a brand-new cover letter for every job you apply for. Instead, you could write a template which can be personalised for each job you are applying for.

Step 5: Prepare For The Interview

Once your CV is ship-shape and you are invited to attend an interview it is important to prepare in advance. As we mentioned, it’s likely that an interviewer will ask you about the reasons behind your career break. It is important not to get defensive about this but instead reply honestly and communicate why you want to return to work.

Keep your answer short and sweet in answering these types of questions and be sure to emphasise your passion and commitment. Confidence is key and honesty is the best policy – however don’t go into too much detail and keep any information relevant to the question you’ve been asked.

Step 6: Seek Specialist Support

Depending on the length of your career break, and your reasons for taking it, you might feel a bit apprehensive about returning to work. Some people lose confidence in themselves and their abilities following a prolonged break and need a bit of extra help in finding their feet. And that’s okay!

If you feel the same it may be wise to seek specialist support. For example, here at Building Better Opportunities we provide employment support to unemployed individuals in South Staffordshire and Cheshire as well as financial advice, personal development opportunities and mental and physical health and well-being. To find out more and apply for the Building Better Opportunities programme, contact us today or attend one of our drop-in sessions to speak to one of our Advocates face to face.