Taking a break is taxing since,attention is shifted from data sheets to cookie recipes and baby care tips. It is not easy to get a job after a hiatus especially for women. Marriage, illness, motherhood all can create career gaps in a woman’s life and when things take shape and a lady wants to join back it becomes difficult, as people and technology has moved on in geometric progression and she finds it difficult to procure a job.The break has made her lose self confidence and she has to find options to kickstart her job again.
But as it is said ‘starting over is the opportunity to come back, better than before.’
So a few basic pointers can be kept in mind to restart after a break:
Returnship Programmes:works like a internship, acts like a bridge to get back to your job. Companies recruit on a temporary basis, test your skills and train you,so that later you can upgrade yourself. After six months absorb you if you do well. They even pay during your internship.They are companies like relauncHER etc.
Join a boot camp: There are return to work boot camps, companies like Sheroes, RelauncHER help as a networking platform to accelerate the hiring process. They help in arranging industry meetups and create forums for networking with HR heads, leaders who can mentor you and counsellors who can guide you.Only you have to realign your priorities with reality and a structured approach.
Volunteer for a while: It can help find employers if you try and learn new skills. You can try to shift to a new sector instead of going after your old sector. Employers value an on-job experience more, so rather than doing a course to upgrade your knowledge, give free services to fill gap in the resume.
You can try overseas volunteering, they only need graduates in any area of work and also give stipend. Organisations like ivolunteer overseas can help people find such opportunities.
Kill the guilt: The feeling of not being the perfect mother should be removed, then only one can restart work.
Fix a target: Goal, a timeline for yourself, eliminate mental pressure and list potential challenges and work part time for initial ice-breaking.
Divide and prioritize work: Keep househelp, take help of friends, family and neighbours and divide your work to free your mind from household problems. Your priority being work, you should cut down on commutation time and socialising time.
Try till you succeed: It is hard to juggle between job and family but will power and faith in your ability will help you sail through.
Seeking the right help at the right place: Reach out to right people who can guide you,help you get back, reconnect with old colleagues, old employers, join industry groups, good contacts who will help you to leave your inhibitions behind.
Boosting self belief: Generally returners undervalue their skills,so prepare to network, update skills, make linkedin profile, follow industry news-letters and blogs. Give pep talk to yourself as you have to compete with younger candidates who are over ambitious and fresh with latest technology. Boost confidence with your raft of skills built up as a parent. These skills help in the job. They are patience, time-management, maturity, problem-solving,empathy, mentoring,negotiations and conflict management.
Ignore CV gap: Don’t write a chronological CV instead make a skill based one,emphasising experience and quality that makes you stand out.
Picture Credit: Rishabh’s Lens