TIPS TO TRANSITION BACK TO WORK AFTER A CAREER BREAK
You may be a new mum who took out time to attend to her baby or a professional who took out time to do a full-time masters. Whatever your case may be, this article will give you tips to make the transition smoother. For those that are looking for a career change, I have written an article about it here
- Clarify your expectations
It’s important you know what you want so that you don’t get overwhelmed with various vacancies flying around. Its best you are intentional with the kind of vacancies you are applying for, this is what would yield results rather than always scattering your CV.
Do you want a full-time job or a part-time job? What type of position? What type of organization? We know this is Nigeria and plans can change but a clear direction would help you to be properly guided
- Update your Resume and Cover Letter
As an HR Professional and a Recruiter, I can tell you confidently that your CV is a marketing tool that would give you a foot through the door. A good Resume and Cover Letter is meant to highlight your experience, skills and potential value that you would bring on board. Ensure it’s updated with your current skills and certification. One big mistake people make is to have a GENERAL CV that they send to all companies.
It’s not wrong to have different CV’s that portray different strengths so far you don’t have false information. E.g if you have identified 3 different aspects of your career you have functioned in the past, it’s best you have CV’s that highlight each of those. Let me use Finance as an example. You may have worked as a General Management Accountant, Tax Specialist, Auditor, Payroll Specialist. It won’t sell you well if you have just one CV that you use to apply for ANY finance role. Have the Generalist one, also have the specialist one where your achievements in each of those spaces are greatly shown and others reduced just so that it can fit the job description of what you are applying for,
- Update your LinkedIn account and other professional profiles on job boards
Updating your profile on professional sites is just like transferring your CV. Ensure your tasks/job descriptions are present and properly updated. Also, ensure your profile title contains keywords that can be easily found by recruiters.
- Network as much as possible and start reaching out to people
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know but WHO YOU KNOW. So go out and start looking for networking events to attend. Join the online group (Whatsapp and telegram) of your profession. Look for someone who can add you so that you can get first-hand information. Inform your friends and past colleagues of your availability so that they can send you opportunities when they get them.
- Prepare ahead.
It’s not when you get the interview invite that you would start preparing for a job. From the moment you get a notification, do a thorough research about the company before you decide to send your application or not. After applying, think of possible questions that could come up including explaining your career gap as well as your value.
- Don’t be desperate and keep your options open.
I understand that you may have some insecurities because you have been out of a job for a while but know that you deserve to get the right job for you so that you won’t be back to square 1. That’s why the first point shows that you should know what you want. You can consider working as a consultant rather than a fulltime job if you have so much experience. Go for that interview knowing your value and OWN THAT INTERVIEW!
I wish you the best on your career journey!