As women, there are so many hurdles we need to jump across in our daily lives. Add in the pressures of being heard in a work setup and excelling in a man dominated workforce, we have to put in almost double or triple the amount of effort than our counterparts do. We have to adapt and evolve with our surroundings much more than men do because of the societal expectations of marriage and parenthood. In most cases, it is the women that have to take a backseat for the latter. Years go by for this cause and their careers take back seat because of this very purpose.
Nowadays, many women are coming to the workforce after taking a break. However, the transition is not exactly smooth. With the work culture feeding on young blood and commitment, things may not go the way you want them to be. Alas, it is not impossible. Here are a few ways in which you can change the narrative:
1.Update your Resume
Things have changed since the last time you went on a break. Add things that boost your CV/Resume: Courses and webinars you have taken in the meantime or any sort of events that took place under your leadership or planned along. You can include any mentorship experiences you have given, where you have helped anyone with their career or business.
2.Find your tribe
Reach out to your girl pals. They will understand and empathise with your situation much better. These can be your colleagues or someone you went to school with. Talk to them about how you are planning on restarting your career and what you are looking for. They will tell you about how to improve and where to look. Inoculate their advice and use them to fly high. There are job openings that give preference to women and who are getting back to the workplace after a break. Tap into that potential and make use of platforms like Women@work, iRelaunch, Corpsteam, jobsforher, sheroes, Mom Corps and The Glass Hammer.
If you have a job interview, the question about the gap in your Resume is inevitable. Instead of finding ways to brush it under the carpet, be honest about it. Talk about why the gap was necessary. Here you can chime in the details about your work experience: how you worked around the clock for many years. Here instead of showing your incompetence, you are letting them know what you are capable of. You can talk about how the gap gave you an understanding of what you want in life. Prep for your interview well. Look for questions that are likely to be asked and find out connections on LinkedIn who can help you on this matter.
If things do not go your way, fret not. Sometimes the opportunities that seek you can be small scale and not to the level of your previous experience. Sometimes, it can be even hard to get these as well. No matter how small these opportunities are, hold onto them tight. An experience, at the end of the day, is an experience after all. You can make use of platforms like Fiverr, where you can work as a freelancer and on your clock. Start small and, once you find your audience, you can expand your empire.
5.Plan the break
If you have the luxury of doing this, make use of it. You can enroll in certified courses and attend webinars. You can even work on a much smaller scale that fits according to your schedule. Explore new avenues and make connections that can help you in this journey. You can even plan on how long the break will be and when you are planning on returning.
Give yourself adequate time to know what is expected from someone who is resuming their career. Understand industry trends and speak to your former colleagues. See if you can find any mentors who can give you recommendations. Develop new skill sets that can mask the gap in your Resume and be familiar with latest Job search strategies. Take baby steps. Know what you are jumping into.
Apart from your existing circle, reach out to new people. Be active on LinkedIn, which can be used for the dual purposes of networking and finding jobs. Join groups that are focused on your field of interest. Find people who can help you kickstart your career or give you referees for the same.
Sometimes things may not work for the best. It is important to understand and accept this as well. Instead of mourning, get back in action. Maybe this is your sign to try something new. Try tapping into a field that would require the same skill set as yours. Or learn new skill sets. There is nothing wrong with trying something new and unknown.
9.Take the failings in your stride
Your career should not define who you are as a person. Hiccups happen all the time, and we need to learn to take things in our stride.
Be patient and pave your path. Most importantly if you feel stuck or confused during the process of re entering the workforce you can always reach out to us. We will guide you to make the right career decision.