Rejoining the workforce - Tips for returning to work after a break

By Victoria Fellows


Taking a career break is a decision that we make for various reasons – whether it's to raise a family, pursue further education, or explore personal passions. But, returning to the workplace can be daunting, so, if you are considering a return to work after a break, here are some tips to help ease your way back in.

Reflect on your goals and skills

Before starting your job search, take the time to reflect on your career goals and the skills you can bring to the table. Think about the things you enjoyed in your previous roles, what new skills you have acquired during your break, and how these align with your future aspirations. This self-reflection will not only guide your job search but also help you articulate your value to potential employers.

Update your CV

A polished, up-to-date CV is your first introduction to recruitment agencies and potential employers. Highlight your achievements, skills, and any new certifications or experiences you have gained during your break. Tailor your CV to the specific job you're applying for and emphasise how your unique combination of skills and experience makes you an asset to the company.

Tap into your network

Networking remains an extremely powerful tool in the job market. Reach out to former colleagues, friends, and industry connections. Attend networking events, both in-person and online, to expand your professional circle. Inform your network of your return to the job market – this can lead to valuable insights, recommendations and even job opportunities.

Explore flexible work options

The modern job market in the UK increasingly embraces flexibility. Consider exploring part-time, freelance, or remote work options to ease back into a professional environment. Many employers now appreciate the value of a diverse workforce and offer flexible arrangements to accommodate various lifestyles.

Upskill and stay informed

Industry trends and technologies evolve, even during short career breaks. Stay updated on the latest developments in your field by attending workshops, online courses, or industry conferences. Demonstrate that you are committed to continuous learning, this enhances your marketability and shows potential employers that you are proactive and adaptable.

Re-build your online presence

In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete and reflects your current skills and experiences. Engage on industry discussions, share relevant articles, and connect with professionals in your field. A well-maintained online presence can catch the eye of recruiters and showcase your commitment to staying connected within your industry.

Prepare for interviews

Returning to interviews after a break may feel intimidating, but preparation is key. Rehearse common interview questions, focusing on how your past experiences and skills make you an excellent candidate. Be ready to discuss how you've stayed engaged with industry trends during your break and how you plan to contribute to your future employer's success.

Consider returnship programs

Some companies in the UK offer returnship programs like these, which are designed to help individuals re-enter the workforce after a career break. These programs often provide training, mentorship, and a structured pathway back into full-time employment. Research companies that offer such programs and explore if they align with your career goals.

Be patient and persistent

Returning to the job market can be a gradual process, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey. Be patient with yourself and remain persistent in your efforts. Rejections are not a reflection of your ability and each interaction is an opportunity to learn and refine your approach.

Seek support

Navigating the job market after a break can be challenging, but you don't have to go through it alone. Seek support from recruitment consultancies like us :), friends, family, or career coaches who can provide guidance, encouragement, and valuable insights. Connecting with others who have experienced similar transitions can be particularly beneficial.

In conclusion, re-entering the job market in the UK after a break requires a combination of self-reflection, preparation, and adaptability. Embrace the unique skills and experiences you bring to the table, stay connected with industry trends, and be open to flexible work options. Remember, returning to work is not just about finding a job but rediscovering your professional identity and contributing your valuable skills to the evolving landscape of the technology industry. With the right mindset and strategic approach, you can make a successful comeback and embark on a fulfilling second chapter in your career journey.

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