Taking a career break to care for newborn or young children is pretty common these days. There are more employees taking time from work to raise their children than ever before and it’s both mums and dads. When this happens, the duration is often not just a few months, but a year or more and it’s likely that when you start thinking about re-joining the workforce again, you’ll feel disconnected and unsure about the move.
If you’re one of the parents or carers who has been concentrating on family life and is now considering getting back to your career, then you’ll benefit greatly from researching the job market you want to re-join. This is an important part of getting your career back on track before and should be done well before applying for any jobs. By researching the job market you’ll have a good idea of what organisations are looking for and what skills are in demand.
Read, read, then read some more. Start reading and read a lot. Get your hands on papers or magazines that cover your industry. You’ll find what the hottest trends are and what type of innovations might have been discovered. Think beyond hard copies and also look up websites, blogs and community forums. Online is cheaper and it’s likely content will be even more abundant than in print form.
Do you require training? How have techniques and methods progressed in your industry? Are there new tools in use? If you’ve been away from a role for a significant period of time, there may be a requirement for you to retrain or up-skill areas of your knowledge base. You could look at training opportunities specific to your industry or learn something more generic that would compliment your current skillset.
It’s networking time! Next, if you’re a member of an association or a professional group, a great idea would be to start attending functions, participate in forums and discussions and reconnect with people you know from your industry. This could give you an insider’s look into what types of jobs are open, trends that are occurring and to get tips on re-entering the industry.
Do your research. To further understand the type of jobs or positions that are open, it’s a good idea to start looking at online job boards and newspaper ads. Take note of the jobs that you’re interested in and at the skills required for them. This will give you a clear understanding of what skills in your arsenal are in demand and what skills you need to learn.
Finally, utilise your network to find jobs that are right for you. If you’re not yet on LinkedIn, go online and create your profile immediately. If you have an account, but haven’t been on there in a while, get on and give it the once over. Do you have any to add here? What have you found that works?