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7 Pro-Tips to Rejoin the Workforce
Perhaps you have been on a sabbatical away from work?
Perhaps you had your first child and needed maternity leave, which extended to years of child devotion?
Perhaps you started your own business and it didn’t work out?
Perhaps you went on a world tour, lived the life of a hippie, and now want to rejoin the workforce?
Perhaps you took a long study gap to get into a university of your dreams, but that plan backfired and you lost the best years of your life for nothing?
Whatever your reasons may be, it’s time to dust the dirt off your shoes, roll up your sleeves, pull up your socks, and make a heart-warming comeback into the workforce.
Read on to learn the 7 pro-tips to help you rejoin the workforce.
1. Get Certified to Up-Skill
If you’re planning to rejoin the workforce, it is possible that your skills are not as polished as they once were. It is also highly likely that you might need to upskill according to the latest industry trends.
Some companies have reservations when it comes to hiring professionals who have a visible career gap. However, if you can prove to them that your skills are highly relevant, you will have a fair shot at actually bagging the job.
So, here’s a word of advice.
Get relevant certifications.
Do whatever it takes to help you rejoin the workforce with a bang.
Holding relevant certifications will prove to a potential employer that you weren’t just wasting away during the time you chose to spend away from the workforce.
That you took the time to get relevant certifications and pick up a trick or two helps you showcase that your learning curve did not stop just because you needed the time to blow off some steam.
It also stands as a hallmark of your ambition and commitment to advancing your skills. And THAT is highly attractive to employers because they are on the hunt for professionals who are quick on their feet. They are looking for self-starters they don’t have to micromanage.
And believe it or not, getting those coveted certifications helps!
2. Build Your Portfolio
You may be caring for the young, or out in a foreign country, or taking a gap year; no matter which situation you are in, you can always build your portfolio in the time away from work.
Your time away from work does not have to mean the end of your career. People take gap years all the time. In most cases, situations are not in their control.
But just because you have been away from the hustle of a corporate job is no excuse for doing absolutely nothing during your time away. You should not compromise on career building even if you are light years away from a regular desk job because, sooner or later, you may want to rejoin the workforce.
So, here’s something that you should do:
Make the most of your time away from work. See it as an opportunity to do something that a regular desk job does not allow you to do. And most importantly, do it.
Being on a break does not have to mean being cut off from the rest of the world.
If you have every intention to re-join the workforce, it is important that you are in touch with the world. It is important that you are abreast of the latest updates in your functional industry. And it is extremely important to network with people who can help you make your transition to the workforce a merry ride.
People are a resource, and while it is wrong to reduce them to stepping-stones of career building, it is crucial that you know the right people and network with them.
The bottom line is that your network matters.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably planning to rejoin the workforce. And if this is the case, make sure that you’re far ahead in your networking game.
Freelancing is not just for writers. Irrespective of the industry you are in, you can always leverage your skills to clients and pick up projects. The best part about freelancing is that you don’t have to be constrained by the limitations that comes with a conventional desk job.
Moreover, freelancing is a great alternative to people who want to take a break because, quite frankly, nobody in their right mind would want to take a break without the backing of a source of income.
Finance matters, and freelancing is a great way to make the best of both worlds i.e. getting remunerated and taking a work break.
Additionally, it also helps you rejoin the workforce while making an impact because you’ll be able to demonstrate your business savviness to fend for yourself and acquire paying clients for your services. This is something that will be seen in a positive light by potential employers!
5. Volunteer for an NGO
Volunteering for an NGO has more advantages than one.
Not only do you get the rare opportunity for community service and to work for a cause that actually matters, but you also pick up a lot of new skills.
For example, working in an NGO can really enhance your interpersonal skills: a skill-set that never dulls in relevance because the need to effectively communicate with your peers is a soft skill that every professional needs, irrespective of the career hierarchy he/she is in.
Additionally, it also helps you connect with a network of like-minded people – an opportunity that you otherwise don’t get the chance to do.
6. Create a Bang-On Resume that Advocates Your Skills
You probably did not see this coming. But, your resume matters. You will most definitely need it to rejoin the workforce.
Gone are the days when you could go office hopping – one after another – just to look for job openings. Days of print advertisements have long receded into the black hole of redundancy. In today’s highly internet-centric universe, your resume will act as the saving grace that leads you to your next job.
However, the approach of your resume will differ from a traditional chronological resume.
Being away from the workforce does not rob you of your skills. This is something that you should remember while drafting your resume for a job after a sabbatical away from work.
So, make sure that your resume is a vibrant emblem of your professional skills and calibre. It should be a glorious illustration of your skills.
7. Write a Compelling Cover Letter
The seventh and final pro-tip for those of you looking to rejoin the workforce is to write a compelling cover letter.
A cover letter is the one place where you can take the time and space to articulate the reasons for your absence from the workforce. It gives you a chance to elucidate the points that you feel a resume fails to cover in its Iimited capacity.
A cover letter gives you the opportunity to explain what makes you fit for the job. It also gives you the opportunity to highlight why you are more qualified than other candidates.
If you have plans to rejoin the workforce, a cover letter is a must-have in your workforce re-joining tool kit. Write one to see the effects of writing a cover letter first-hand.
I hope that this article was helpful.
In case you want a quick summary of this article, here it is:
- Up-skill: Getting relevant certifications is key.
- Build your portfolio: Ensure that you have something to justify your career gap.
- Network: Connect with people in your functional industry.
- Freelance: Make money while enjoying the luxury of time.
- Make a bang-on resume: Keep the focus skill-centric, not time-line centric.
- Write a compelling cover letter: A must-have for professionals looking to rejoin the workforce.
About the Author
Aditya Sharma is on a quest to help professionals across the world land their dream jobs.
Aditya lives and breathes Hiration — an AI-powered online resume builder helping job-seekers find their way in the treacherous job market — where he’s a Co-Founder and the unofficial CPO (Chief Problem-Solving Officer).