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Tips on Getting Back to Work after a career break

Tips on Getting Back to Work after a career break

Tina.Freed / 21 Aug 2015

Katerina and Julianne, Co-founders of Women Returners, have been supporting women to return to work that works for them for the past ten years. These are the Top 10 tips they have distilled from their experience:

  1. Make sure you are ready to go back. There’s no point trying to find a job while worrying whether you are doing the right thing.


  1. Value your skills. For each of your past paid and unpaid roles, write down all the skills you used and make sure these come across clearly on your CV. If you remind yourself of your strengths and achievements you’ll start to feel more confident.


  1. Be clear about what you want to do. The clearer you are about your direction and why it makes sense to you the more positively you will come across to everyone you meet.


  1. Don’t limit your search to advertised jobs or rely on recruitment agencies. We are constantly told by successful returners that they found their role through networking, so…


  1. Spread the word. Start with telling your friends, family and acquaintances what you would like to do. Get back in touch with old colleagues and student friends (LinkedIn alumni groups can be very useful here). Make new contacts by joining industry groups, attending seminars and conferences, or volunteering.


  1. Update your industry knowledge and find out about current issues by reading articles, checking company websites and LinkedIn sites and talking to people in your sector.


  1. Don’t be intimidated by technological change; a quick IT course can get you up to speed.


  1. Let go of guilt. Remember that working parents don’t have to feel guilty. Children thrive with happy and fulfilled parents. Ignore other people’s judgments, recognising they have different values.


  1. Put practical & emotional support in place – we all need it! Asking for help doesn’t make you helpless. If you look after yourself you’ll be in a better position to look after others, whether your family or your work colleagues.


  1. Finally, remember that you are the same capable professional you were before your break – you’re just out of practice! You’ll be surprised how quickly yourconfidence comes back once you get back into work.


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