There are many reasons for stepping off the career track. Raising children, caring for parents, pursuing a passion, or simply taking a much-needed sabbatical all take people away from the office. Having an answer ready for the inevitable question about the gap on your resume is important, but it's not the only thing you need to do to get ready to return to work. Here are four key things to do before you start searching the job listings.
Figure out what you want to do.
While you may want to step right back into the role you stepped out of, your industry will have changed while you were away. You will have changed while you were away, too. The role you used to have may no longer exist, or it may not suit you any more. Rather than trying to reclaim your old job, take time to think about what new job fits the person you are now.
Upgrade your skills.
Especially in technical fields, many companies use online tests to prescreen candidates and verify they have the level of technical ability they claim. No matter how solid your skills were before your break, if you haven't been using them every day, you'll have grown rusty. Take time to refresh your memory of the details of your specialty. You may also want to pursue a certification in an old or new technical skill. Not only will the certification prove you have a base level of skill, it demonstrates to potential employers that you're serious and ready to return to work.
Reach out to your old network.
Get the scoop on what's going on in your industry from your former colleagues. They can tell you about opportunities, but more important, they can tell you about the challenges their companies and the industry are facing. With that inside information, you can tailor the way you present yourself to demonstrate that you can help a potential employer overcome those issues.
Prepare your family for the change.
If your time off was to take care of loved ones, when you return to work, it will change their lives as well. Make sure you've made all the necessary arrangements for their care when you're at work, so you'll be able to focus on the job and not worry about how they're doing. Depending on their ages and circumstances, explain why you're going to work and how it will impact them, so they won't worry either. Understand this can be a difficult transition for everyone, and allow time for the adjustment.
Are you ready to return to work? The Armada Group is ready to help you find the right job and reenter the workforce. Contact us to learn how our expert recruiters can help you speed your search so you can get back to work quickly.