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Re-entering the Workforce: A Guide to Professional Success After a Career Break

Updated: Feb 6

A career woman with kids

Taking a break from your career to focus on raising a child is a significant and rewarding decision. However, when the time comes to re-enter the workforce, it can be an overwhelming and emotionally draining task. At 2B Bolder, we understand the challenges you may face, and we're here to offer guidance, encouragement, and valuable advice to help you navigate the job market successfully after taking a career break.

Here are some ways to tackle this difficult yet exciting time ...

Start by Assessing Your Skills and Updating Your Resume.

Returning to the job market after a career break provides an opportunity to reassess your skills and update your resume to reflect your growth and experiences. Start by reflecting on the valuable skills you gained while away, such as multitasking, problem-solving, time management, and adaptability. These skills are highly sought after by employers and can be effectively highlighted on your resume.

Consider the tasks and responsibilities you handled while raising your child. Did you manage a household budget? Organize events or activities? Coordinate schedules and appointments? These experiences demonstrate your ability to handle multiple responsibilities, make informed decisions, and effectively manage your time.

When updating your resume, focus on showcasing your transferable skills and accomplishments. Highlight projects you initiated, milestones you achieved, and any professional development activities you pursued during your career break. Use concise and impactful language to describe your responsibilities and achievements, demonstrating your ability to contribute to a new work environment.

Next, look at Addressing the Career Gap.

It's common to worry about how to address the career gap during interviews and in your cover letter. Remember that taking a career break to raise a child is a valid choice and an opportunity for personal growth. Be confident in explaining your decision and emphasize how it allowed you to develop important skills and gain a fresh perspective.

Use a positive and proactive tone to address the career gap in your cover letter. Explain that you took time off to focus on your family and mention some valuable experiences and skills you acquired during this period. Showcase your enthusiasm and commitment to re-entering the workforce, emphasizing your eagerness to contribute to a new organization.

During interviews, focus on your skills and qualities that make you an ideal candidate. Emphasize your ability to adapt, strong work ethic, and determination to succeed. Share specific examples of how you handled challenges, managed responsibilities, and achieved results during your career break. Employers value candidates who can effectively balance multiple priorities and show resilience in facing challenges.

It's important to Build a Professional Network.

Building a strong professional network is essential for finding job opportunities and gaining support during your career comeback. Start by reconnecting with former colleagues, supervisors, and professional contacts. Inform them of your intention to re-enter the workforce and seek their guidance and advice. Attend industry events, workshops, and seminars to expand your network and stay updated on industry trends.

Online platforms such as LinkedIn can also be valuable resources for networking. Create or update your profile, join relevant industry groups, and engage in conversations and discussions. Reach out to professionals in your desired field for informational interviews, where you can learn more about the industry and gain valuable insights.

Additionally, consider joining local professional associations or networking groups tailored to individuals returning to the workforce after a career break. These communities often provide support, mentorship, and job opportunities for individuals in similar situations.

Updating Your Skills and Staying Relevant.

The job market constantly evolves, and staying updated with industry trends and technologies is crucial for success. Take advantage of various resources and opportunities to update your skills and knowledge.

Consider enrolling in online courses, webinars, or workshops relevant to your desired field. Many reputable online platforms offer flexible and self-paced learning options that can accommodate your schedule. Additionally, explore professional development programs or certifications that can enhance your knowledge and credentials in your chosen industry.

Stay informed about industry news and trends by subscribing to relevant newsletters, following influential professionals on social media, and reading industry-specific publications. This will help you stay up-to-date allow you to engage in meaningful conversations, and demonstrate your commitment to ongoing learning and growth.

Networking with professionals in your desired field can also provide valuable insights into the skills and knowledge that are currently in demand. You can gain insights into emerging trends, technologies, and best practices by connecting with industry professionals, attending webinars or conferences, and participating in online communities.

Even though returning to the workforce after a career break may seem challenging, it's important to remember that you possess valuable skills, experiences, and determination that make you an asset to any organization. You can successfully navigate the job market and secure a fulfilling career by assessing your skills, updating your resume, addressing the career gap with confidence, building a strong professional network, and staying updated with industry trends.

Remember, your career break should be seen as an opportunity for personal growth and development, and the skills you gained during that time are highly valuable. Believe in your abilities, and approach your job search optimistically and enthusiastically. Your dedication and resilience will shine through, and you will find a rewarding career that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Embrace this exciting chapter in your life, and know that you have the support and guidance of the 2B Bolder community. We believe in your potential and are here to cheer you on every step of the way. If you're looking for more inspiration, listen to one of the many podcast interviews with INCREDIBLE women sharing their career stories and unique perspectives on how they define success and have overcome challenges unique to women. Read profiles of our featured women in business and tech who share their career insights and advice.

Sign up for the 2B Bolder newsletter & stay connected, and see what's new.

Sincerely, Mary Killelea

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