Retuning to work after a break, no matter what the reason for the gap, can be a daunting task. You may worry that you have fallen behind. Worry that your skills are out of date, or don’t even know where to start applying for a new job. There are many people in your situation so you are not alone. Whether you were made redundant, or decided to take a step back from your career for another reason, returning to work can be tough.
You may think that now is not the time to look for work? The reality is that whilst Covid-19 continues to impact the job market there are some industries seeing a real increase in demand! That coupled with companies offering home-working or hybrid working means that now is the ideal time to look for work. The whole of the UK could now be open to you as opposed to just local jobs.
Returning to work doesn’t have to be scary. Our expert consultants share their top tips and advice to help give your career a boost after a gap in your CV.
Re-think your time away from work
Don’t think of your time away from work as wasted time. In fact, with the lockdown forcing us all inside, it’s likely you have learnt a lot. Think about where you have focused your time and what you have learnt. Create a ‘learning list’ to fill the gap in your CV. Showing that you have spent the ‘down-time’ learning a new skill isn’t the only benefit. By using the time to learn new skills also means that you have had the discipline and structure. This is a key concern for many employers when you are looking to return to work.
Consider your options for returning to work
There are 4 main paths back into the workplace –
- Boomerang. This is where you go back to what you were doing before your gap. However, this may not be possible right now if you worked in hospitality or similar. So the next path may be how you return to work.
- Lily Pad. This is taking a short-term role whilst you look for your next dream job. It keeps you working whilst you search for employment.
- Try and Buy. We call these temp to perm positions. It gives you the option to try something totally different before committing to a permanent job. You may need to repurpose your CV for a new sector, but don’t let a whole new career focus stop you from trying this route.
- Pro Bono to Paid. This is a great option if earning a salary isn’t your main priority. Volunteering, even if just for a short period, will really strengthen your application when you do decide that returning to work is the next step.
Build your confidence back
2020 was a tough year for many. And the confidence of employees who have been furloughed or even sadly lost their jobs has been hit. It’s time to build back your confidence and make 2021 a better year. This is where you can turn to your network to help you. You will be amazed at the level of support you will receive from previous colleagues, managers and peers. Ask these people to share what they thought your skills were. What were you good at? How did you contribute? Not only can you use their answers as part of your application, it’s also a great way to build your confidence. Your network are there to remind you who you are and what you’re capable of.
If you are looking to return to work after a break and don’t know where to start, get in touch with our friendly team and we can walk you through it. Whether it’s a temporary job to get you back to work quickly, or a more long-term career move – we can help.