While returning to work after a career break is difficult, it is even more so in the IT industry. Technology is evolving rapidly, and after a career break, you might find that what you know is no longer in use, and a lot has changed. Therefore, updating your knowledge would be a key step for you to be able to pitch yourself back into the industry. Women take a career break for various reasons, but it is always just that – a break from professional life to deal with their personal lives. Experts advise women not to be disconnected from what they want after returning to work from a career break. Returning to work after that can be difficult, especially if they are filled with guilt or self-doubt. More often than not, a mother gets back to work after 10 years on average. According to the Harvard Business Review, 43% of highly qualified women with children leave or take a career break. On average, they lose 18 % of their earning power, and when they’ve been out for three years or longer, they lose 37%. Furthermore, 24% of women said they had to stop working to care for an elderly parent. Nevertheless, there are numerous jobs for mothers returning to work. Fundamental abilities, on the other hand, do not change over time. One might still be a good software engineer if one was before. What they must do is to keep their tools and techniques up to date.
Here are some helpful tips for women to know how to get back to work after a break:
Be open about your career break
Explain why you took a break openly and honestly. Don’t try to hide your career gap; it will only make the situation worse. Be prepared to face questions about the career break and be open and honest in your responses. Make an effort to see your career break as a positive experience.
Make time for learning
You have to make time and take courses, find a mentor, and learn. There is no easy way to do this. Take notes, be ready to watch videos twice, and go to various sources for a given topic. For example: If you are learning Java, then utilize Udemy, YouTube, Blogs, and available sources on the internet. With this, you should be able to:
- Write a program and make it work
- Optimize the program
- Explain the logic and improve upon it
This approach works for any other track, such as QA Automation.
Do not be embarrassed or apologetic about your career break. Don’t underestimate its worth. Even family responsibilities such as caregiving for the elderly and children are crucial. If you left your job because you had to return to school, you should put that on your resume. At your interview, you must exude self-assurance. A minor omission from your resume does not imply that you are not as qualified as the next best candidate.
Build your resume
It would be beneficial if you updated your resume. Make sure you’re using current industry jargon and highlighting any skills that are still in demand. Look at sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to see what employers are looking for today and how that matches your experience. You might want to work on your resume’s format. Choose a format that isn’t chronological to hide the gap. To show your experience and highlight credentials, use the functional and newsletter resume formats.
Today’s resume must highlight strengths while downplaying weaknesses. Hence, include any achievements that occurred during your gap year.
Expand your network
Women going back to work should reconnect with their professional network. Meeting some industry friends for coffee is a good idea. To expand your network, start by participating in LinkedIn groups and going to industry meetups. There are recruitment programs designed to be easily accessible for women going back to work. Empow-her is one such program by Clairvoyant to help women get job-ready. Check it out here .
A lot can happen in the industry in just a few days or weeks. You don’t want to come across as being behind the times in your interview. Make sure you are up to date on industry news; sample some interview questions, such as lists of questions for various positions available on the internet. Finally, learn about the areas of your expertise that have changed to know how and where to brush up on your skills. Read about the company you are interviewing for. If you are better prepared for an interview, you will be more confident to impress the interviewer.
Get hands-on learning, get certifications
Before resuming work in fields that experience daily trends and change, such as Software Development, Quality testing, and more, you may need to learn a few new skills. Demonstrate to a potential employer that you are serious about staying in the industry and being proactive. Only theoretical knowledge will not help in today’s industry. Write a program, work on a use case, and then go for certifications. Earn a certificate and stay up to date on the latest technology and best practices. A certificate could give you an advantage over a candidate with no gaps and no special skill certificates.
As a result, a career restart does not become daunting for women going back to work after a long absence. Updating your resume, arming yourself with relevant skills, and scheduling as many interviews as possible will significantly boost your confidence. Furthermore, returning to your previous position after a break isn’t as difficult as you might think. After all, it is a role in which you excelled and will continue to excel if given the opportunity.
Are you looking for that perfect jumpstart? A place where you can quickly feel confident and find your feet while working on the job. Clairvoyant has the perfect platform for you. Check out Empow-Her, an exclusive recruitment program for women in tech with progressive practices and the most up-to-date tech trends to make you job-ready. This is sure to help you get back on track with renewed confidence.