Bouncing Back Post Career Break
Women today are considered valued assets in various organizations. Gone are the days, where men used to be sole earning member of the family. Today, like men, women too are doing exceptionally well in diverse professional fields. This not only improves the family’s financial condition but it also allows women to benefit from their formal education and peruse their goals. These career-oriented women are ambitious and capable enough to build a successful career, but there are several factors that can hinder their progress.
Reasons for Career Breaks:
Unfortunately, most women are forced to take a career break due to various personal reasons such as raising a child, taking care of elders, higher studies, or personal health issues. They may even have to give up their job if their husband decides to relocate. There are many cases where the spouse has an overseas job offer in USA but his visa does not allow the wife to work. In all likelihood she will have to give up her job if her husband decides to take up the job. In fact, it’s may not be just an ordinary job that she has to give up, it may well be a successful career, that she has persevered in for a number of years, that she will be sacrificing. Career breaks normally prove detrimental to a woman. The more seniority she has, the more it will be for her to get back in that groove.
Career Break - Pros and Cons
You should know that a sabbatical or career break has its pros and cons. You may be tempted to take a career break seeing all the positive aspects like spending quality time with your family and raising your little one or just a break long enough to relax and do all the things that you have wanted to do but never could or you may want to take time off to a rethink on what you want to do in life etc. Oftentimes, a break in career is not out of choice. Your presence at home is essential to oversee the elders who have become infirm. Your children may be at an age when they require more of your time. Sometimes a career break is required in order to recuperate from ill health. There should be no hesitation in doing so on this account because health should always come first ,and you can only achieve your goals in life if you are physically fit.
What ever the reason ,there should be absolutely no regrets as far as your career is concerned, because one thing is quite clear your career prospects will be impacted if the break is long . At the end of the day, it’s all about one’s priorities in life.
Getting back on track after a long break can be difficult as well as scary. It is almost like joining a new job. If your break has been too long, and you are in a field like information technology or any technical field, you will have a tough time catching up as technology keeps changing rapidly. The skills that you have mastered over the years may be obsolete when you get back. In such a situation, and you may have to spend time and bring yourself up to date in your field. You will, most likely, have to make some compromises with your salary package.
Research proves that the factors mentioned above deter women from taking long leaves or career breaks. They somehow manage to juggle between work and personal life and continue their job.
Getting Back on Track
To put yourself back on track after a break, you need to do some groundwork. Confidence, foresight and self-motivation are essential as you will have to be focused on job hunting, preparing well for interviews, arranging for childcare or preparing your household to function without you, etc.
You may decide to brush up your skills if you feel that you are out of touch with your industry. You may also consider the following a few options given below:
- Search for companies that have "family friendly" policies.
- See if you can work part-time and gradually increase the number of hours in office.
- See if you can work from home as a freelancer.
- If you have a family business, you may consider working there.
- If you have the skill, this may be the opportune time to start your own business. Be your own boss, why work under anybody? Plan well and take necessary advice before you launch yourself as a self employed professional.
- This may be the right opportunity to change your career.
Showing career break in your CV
While are on leave , all professional should remain abreast with developments in their fields Also, let your new employer know that you were doing this in order to keep yourself attuned to new technologies.
Always mention the career break in your resume and not try hiding it by giving some false work experience. If you are called for an interview, you must explain that you were on break for a genuine reason and how you have kept yourself with developments in your field. Convince your interviewers that, despite the break, you are fit for the position and will strive to do justice to your job.
IT professionals or those in technical fields must educate themselves about the latest technologies by taking up crash courses from authorized institutes. IT professionals, based on their domain of skills, can try for some new recognized certification such as Microsoft certification, Oracle certification, etc.
Remember that a career break doesn’t mean a full stop to your career. With a little effort and patience you can certainly get back into the groove and resume your career. Have faith in yourself, be confident and analyze all possible alternatives that will assist you to manage both work and home. Some big companies also hire women professionals who are keen to resume work after a career break. This proves that you can definitely get a job and the doors are still open even after a long sabbatical if you have the requisite skills.
There could be any number of genuine reasons for taking a career break. This decision is often taken because the priorities in life change. It’s a very tough call, but the step is well worth taking if your circumstances demand it. Once you follow through with your decision, you will find happiness and that’s what matters in the long run. Dragging yourself to work everyday and sacrificing mental peace and happiness for the sake of money won’t help. As and when the circumstances perm, you can always get back to work. It will be a big challenge, but not one big enough to deter you.