Effective ways to reboot your career after a break

Arjun Nair, Co-founder, Great Learning says career breaks are now increasingly accepted by employers.
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Increased awareness about mental health, personal growth, child care and more have made voluntary career breaks a common phenomenon amongst professionals. A report by ManpowerGroup shows that 84 percent of millennials foresee significant career breaks along the way. However, long hauls can propel professional challenges that may become a barrier in finding the right job as a consequence of outdated skill sets or lack of career-relevant competencies.

Professionals often find themselves on a backfoot of ever-evolving technology, a dynamic work environment, and industry competitiveness. With rapidly changing industry trends and a highly competitive job market, candidates realise the need to prepare themselves well to re-enter the workforce. 

Once considered a huge setback for a working professional, career breaks are now increasingly accepted by employers. Organisations are becoming more sensitive to the idea of taking a sabbatical factoring in a refreshed mindset and balanced mental health of their employees.

Leading corporations like IBM, Microsoft, and Cognizant have taken initiatives to offer second career programs to professionals to help them re-join the industry. Professionals should further take onus and arm themselves with skills that can be indispensable in the workplace. For a smooth comeback, here are a few tips that would help a candidate to reboot their career trajectory.

Prepare for interview 

Being thoroughly prepared while stepping back into the corporate world will help professionals to succeed in their endeavours as this is the initial stage. This would need them to have an updated resume that highlights their career goals and skills acquired during the career hiatus.

As industry perception around career breaks has evolved over time, employers are more open to accepting valid reasons for the void in resumes. Employers not only look for an honest view on the professional gap but also expect to know the strengths and accomplishments achieved during the break by the professional. 

Upgrade your skills 

Staying relevant and matching the pace in the ever-changing digital era is essential. Being prepared in tandem with the changing trends in the corporate world will enable professionals to trace better career growth for themselves.

The best part about considering a sabbatical in contemporary times is the easy availability of a wide range of programs and online upskilling opportunities for a powerful comeback.

The demand for professionals fluent in new-age skills for domains like artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, digital marketing, to come up with efficient business solutions is seen across sectors.

Many edtech platforms offer a full range of online courses and degree programmes in digital and management domains in collaboration with leading universities that can help professionals jumpstart their second careers in highly prevalent domains. 

Network to unlock new career opportunities

Networking is a great way to find niche career opportunities. A LinkedIn survey revealed that 85 percent of jobs are secured through networking. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have become the preferred networking forums and also the hunting grounds for the right talent. Most recruiters perform background checks through a candidate's digital footprint in order to understand them better.

One should actively document their professional ideas on such platforms and engage with your contemporaries via comments and blogs to unlock lucrative career opportunities. The content posted should be the latest and must showcase the newly acquired skills.

It is imperative to attend conferences/workshops to connect with your group and stay abreast with the changing industry trends. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work and look to progress in their careers after a break. In the current scenario, organisations are more than open to leverage the experience of skilled professionals, provided they are up to speed with industry trends and equipped with the latest data and tech expertise.

Relevant knowledge around concerned domains can open a plethora of opportunities for those longing to re-enter the workforce after a long absence. There has never been a better time than this to chart new career pathways and acquire new skills for the jobs of tomorrow.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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