While you may be overwhelmed taking a long hiatus from work, it can be painstaking to get back on the same track again. You may have your own compelling reasons, personal or professional, there is a whole new set of challenges awaiting you as you decide to resume.
You may be going for a long vacation, medical reasons, shifting the career lane, or it could be anything else, there is a price tag with every career decision you make. More often than not, you would get leisure time to reassess where your career is heading to, and how you would like to move on after the break.
Over years, you must have witnessed a sea change in employers’ attitudes as they realize the value of retaining star performers for their sustainable market success. The chances are good for companies to benefit from such employees when they return with an all-new set of saleable skills, and a renewed exuberance to work.
For the same, some companies have a well-placed ‘sabbatical policy’ whereby employees are allowed to take time off for a certain period of time. In such a case, the usual perks that come along with your current job will dissolve as long as you’re on sabbatical.
You would have job security even while away from your workplace. However, the sabbatical period is negotiable in most cases for indispensable employees positioned across the upper echelons of the management including senior managers. So, many employers keep their doors open for their star performers after their predetermined break.
But, not all of us would be privileged to receive such flexibilities. Instead, you would encounter blows after blows to get through the hard-wired situation to get your career right on track.
There is a flurry of questions you must have encountered stoking curiosity in taking such a decision then, and now to resume. So be prepared for you would have a lot to struggle with ranging from the type of job profile, salary offered, incentives, and many many concerns to knock you off.
If you’re facing the heat at the moment, then there is something for you to read on to help you get out of the soup:
- Plan before you take the plunge
An unexpected career break could wreck your career and may fail to provide the right launchpad in the future. So, plan before you decide to go for it notwithstanding your reasons.
Also, you can’t be fooling with your career if you’re serious about it. Right? So, do not put your career at stake just in the name of taking a break.
Talk to your seniors or other experienced professionals to gather a sense of clarity about what you plan to do during the sabbatical. You can surely eliminate the risk of making a hasty decision for which you may regret later.
Think before you walk out. Chalk down a structured plan to go ahead with the upcoming career break. Consult whenever necessary for seeking help would strengthen your confidence in the decision and put you in the right frame of mind
You must have heard it from almost everyone whom you discussed your job search. It is nothing short of a ground rule for job seekers to build consolidated professional connections in their target industries to leverage them to increase their visibility in the job market.
As per, Lou Adler, CEO, and founder of The Adler Group, “Networking is how you turn 4-5 great contacts into 50-60 connections in 2-3 weeks. You can ask any job expertly and they would echo the same message loud and clear to exert 60-70% of your efforts in networking with the right people!
It is always good to have smooth access to key decision-makers for even if they do not have any open jobs now but may need you in the future. So keep the doors open for you lest you may lose on to many golden job opportunities later.
Most job agencies consider professional networking to be an effective tool to lap up a good job than any other job hunt strategy in the books. Matter of fact, most people are often hired through making good connections and who they know via social media or professional platforms (Linkedin).
Interact with the right people – either formally or informally – and let them know of your niche skills and capabilities to create the buzz you need to lure challenging job opportunities you’re looking for. If you’re lucky, you may know of an unadvertised job opening before the world out there knows it!
Prune and polish your networking skills during the sabbatical to eliminate stiff competition and grab the right opportunity, precisely when you need it!
You may not agree, for who likes seeking help for employment? Probably none, for you want to credit your strengths and experience for the success. But the real picture is altogether different as most job positions are filled with ‘word of mouth’.
In your case, wherein you have a good long break, your next job is most likely to come from someone you know. So, who would be the one in your network for you?
- Do Not Sit Idle – Freelance
While you’re not regularly working, probably one of the best ways to keep the momentum going with your craft is to freelance your services to some reputed organizations. It will benefit for you to get elaborative exposure to the recent happenings in your core field in the market whilst earning quick bucks alongside.
In this way, you continue to work on your terms while balancing all other chores. Matter of fact, most passionate professionals prefer committing to short-term freelance projects to get hands-on experience on certain in-demand skills and technologies to improve their employability in the future.
There is always a risk of losing on to your core skills and capabilities during the career break. But freelancing lets you stay abreast with your job areas whilst opening new conduits for distinct career growth opportunities. You never know that the same company may hire you later when you seek full-time employment when your break gets over.
Over years, most professionals have found comfort in freelancing for it offers easy money and elaborative market exposure while sitting at home. Many US companies outsource their niche projects outside; so stay alert and continue searching for freelance projects.
You can check out with your previous firm as well if in case they wish to freelance some work during the break. Since you’ve worked with the same employers, good chances are there to hire you over others to work.
Grab the right offer for you’re opening doors to employment opportunities, if not full-time, then freelance. This way, you can avail of regular work to upskill yourself to reinvent your true potential.
The sprawling presence of automation techniques and rapid adoption of advanced technologies over the years has made up-skilling, a need of the hour. This tectonic shift has never been much noticeable than observed in the IT/ITes industry where most professionals are crumbling down with redundant skills.
For instance, AT&T has reported a whopping 100,000 of their job roles wouldn’t hold any relevance in the next decade, triggering the need for massive investment to upskilling their workforce. So, as the next Generation Z enters the workspace, they would be facing a skill crunch where a decent proportion of the jobs they are trained for wouldn’t even exist.
So you can very well imagine the dynamic scenario when you plan to resume your job. The changes would be unfathomable; so stay alert to what all is happening in your core domain lest you may have a daunting task ahead.
Also, if and when you search for the job, you can produce concrete evidence of your at-length work experience during the sabbatical to increase your chances of getting the offer in hand. There are many companies who give decent weightage to the quality of freelance work; so you surely would not like to miss the chance.
- Review Resume
You’re resumed if well-drafted is a gateway to land up a dream job even if you have taken a long career break. However, for many employers, a job hiatus does not bode well, and attempting to cover it up may ruin your remaining chances.
It is better to specify the actual reasons, in the covering letter or in the resume itself. Your prospective employer not only determines your competency but looks for sincerity and eagerness for the job, in your resume. So do not play around with your resume.
Many companies run background checks, especially if you have a career break. Any attempt to fabricate the information in your resume could make it worse for you. Matter of fact, it could close the doors for you!
While you have prepared your resume and sent it to dozens of companies, you may get some replies and many others may not even bother to open the email. Some may give you a call while the rest will not even register your existence. But that’s not a dead-end! Right?
Keep your resume floating in the job market to make it visible to most companies and active recruiters. For that matter, you would have to take the assistance of digital platforms including professional forums to spread the word in the market.
Make your accounts on some of the popular professional platforms including LinkedIn allowing you to explain more than what your resume can speak about to a wide network of consummate professionals from multiple industries.
Most employers and recruitment agencies leverage the widespread marketability of different social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.- to source the right candidates. Matter of fact, it forms a growing part of the job search strategies of many companies.
Your resume is generally visible to specific paid members on a job site, or to those to whom you have sent it directly. However, if you’re making a comeback after long, you have to advertise your current skill set to lure myriad job opportunities.
What better than social media platforms can do to revive your career with establishing your career brand, whilst networking with important people to explore various job opportunities, and convert possible leads into prospective employers.
So rake in the most benefit out of the wide outreach of the social media platforms to market yourself all over again, as you plan to make a comeback!
Call us to seek professional advice on resume making from our experts.
- Keep the options open
While you may be determined to continue working in the same core field you left, there can be unexpected changes during the course of time. A significant gap could reduce your chances to enter certain industries but not all.
For that matter, you must be prepared to explore different options to stay employed. For working mothers, often it is not easy to strike a balance between their work and home. They are literally torn to adjust their hectic work schedule and looking after their baby back home.
In such scenarios, you must be flexible to accept jobs demanding comfortable working schedules and nature all together. Yes, it may not be your first preference but it is better than closing the doors to your career revival once and for all, and regret forever!
Your first step after the sabbatical is likely to be shaky. So, you can resume with a part-time profile or volunteer for some social work to get the hang of working. Alternatively, you can start something of your own to work as an independent entrepreneur.
Your body may not be readily accustomed to working for long hours after the lethargic phase; so stay motivated and pep up yourself to take it slowly. Talk it to your HR manager to make few adjustments, if possible, in your work schedule for the initial phase.
So, there is no scarcity of options for you but ultimately it is your call in the end! Make the best out of what you’re getting to start all over again.
To wrap up …..
As the period of your sabbatical is about to end, consider approaching your previous company to know if they have some suitable job opportunities. But be prepared for you may not get into the same shoes or probably not even get an answer.
Anyway, this is not the end of the road to your career. Review the aforementioned tips to lay down the ground to explore and charter a comeback for yourself!
Contact us to make your job search easy!