Throughout our lives, we almost all face situations that require us to stay away from the working world for a longer period of time.
Whether it's about raising children, health reasons or other personal issues, returning can be a serious challenge.
The labor market conditions pose serious challenges for those who, for some reason, have been away from the world of work for years. New trends, new professions are born, and the expectations placed on employees are constantly changing. Not only employees, but companies must also adapt to changes - so the situation is not easy for either side.
What can we do to make this often difficult life situation easier?
Self-awareness, flexibility and review of goals.
After a longer break, it may happen that the previous job or position no longer exists and we have to stand up in a new field. We may not be able to return to our previous workplace or, if we do, the colleagues have changed and, in addition to the challenges of the task, integration also represents a separate task.It is very important that we are able to adapt flexibly to the changes and even prepare in advance for the need to acquire some new skill for the new job.
At the same time, a longer absence from work gives us the opportunity to review our lives and consider what goals we want to achieve in our careers. We may need to re-evaluate our previous goals, as they may no longer fit into our current life situation.
If we can, it is worth taking advantage of the break to refresh our skills and knowledge in the given area. This not only helps us stay up to date, but also increases our confidence when returning.
Building relationships is key to returning to the job market. Look for opportunities to participate in professional communities, events, conferences or online forums. This can help to build new connections and gain recommendations that can facilitate the return, or even draw our attention to what direction to develop ourselves in to increase our chances.
Flexibility and Graduality
The first period after returning is never easy. Both employers and ourselves need to be accepting and flexible. If possible, it is advisable to start with smaller projects or part-time work until we get back into the work world. This gives us the opportunity to gradually get used to the pace of work and the requirements.
Help from employers
More and more companies are recognizing the importance of supporting employees who wish to return after a longer absence. There are mostly larger multinational companies that create programs to support returning employees.
At the same time, many companies have kept the option of working from home after the pandemic, which is a solution for many to return.
Preparation for the Return
If we have been planning our return for a while, it is worth contacting the company's HR and inquiring about our options. In the few years we have been away, it is possible that more flexible working forms, such as part-time employment, have become available at the company.It may happen that for some reason we cannot go back to our old company and we have to look for a job.
The first step in such a situation - even if we have been out of practice for a long time - is to update the CV and the motivation letter. Include the new skills and experiences we have gained during the years of absence, and emphasize the advantages of the labor market gap, such as development, reliability and adaptability. This helps to convince employers that we are a valuable resource for them.
After a longer break, returning may come with serious challenges. Self-awareness, revisiting goals and acquiring fresh skills are very important. Additionally, maintaining connections, networking and being flexible and open to learning something new are key factors for a successful return.
Rebuilding and rethinking a career can take time and can sometimes seem very difficult. With perseverance and commitment, however, it is possible to find a job even after a longer break, where we can develop professionally and maintain a balance between work and private life.