Job Search Tips After a Long Absence from the Workforce

September 12th, 2022

There are many reasons people take extended breaks from work. One of the most common is to raise a child. On the flip side, a growing number of working adults are taking time off to become caretakers for their elderly parents. Of course there can also be injuries or health care concerns that require extended leaves, along with a host of other personal reasons.

No matter the circumstances for your extended absence, when it comes time to return to work, it’s easy to feel completely out of your element. If you need help, consider working with a career coach from GetFive for personalized guidance. These coaches recommend job seekers breaking out of an extended absence get started by doing the following:

Freshen Your Expertise: Today’s rapidly changing world means that things have likely evolved since your last job. Your skill set is rusty, and you don’t want that to be an employer’s main worry. To ease concerns and exhibit your can-do attitude, consider taking continuing education classes and getting important industry certifications. Show how you’re sharpening your skills without employment and stress your determination to learn more while employed.

New Networking: Your professional network is one of the most important tools you can use to boost your job search, but after being out of work for so long, your connections may have gone cold. It’s time to get the pot boiling again. Start with friends and social acquaintances to get your footing. When you gain momentum, move on to past colleagues, professors, and professional contacts. Even if it’s been years, reach out explaining your desires and offer to catch up over a cup of coffee.

Show Commitment: Whether it’s been one year, 10 years, or longer, when you’re gone from work, a new employer may question your commitment to the job. One easy way to demonstrate that you’re ready to reenter the workforce is to volunteer in a position related to what you want to do when employed. You’ll spruce up your skills, expand your network, and show you’re prepared. Another method is attending industry events regularly. Join a professional group in your area and get active now.

Be Honest: Finally, it’s important to be honest about your time away. Don’t try to hide it on your resume or talk around it at interviews. Being transparent demonstrates honesty, integrity, and confidence.

There are many reasons people take breaks, and while it might take some special initiative, it’s not impossible to reenter the workforce after an extended absence and reach high levels of success.

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