How Not To Sound Desperate When You Want To Return To Work

Posted: June 26, 2017

Want to return to work after a career break? You may feel desperate but coming across like that can hurt your chances. 

If you’ve been at home for a while and been actively job hunting, you will relate with this. Not getting a job after a sabbatical can be very disappointing and at times frustating. When you do not find a suitable job for a long time, you may become desperate. Sounds like the state of mind you are in? I have been there, done that! Infact, I have experienced it from both sides of the table. Let me share my learnings…

It is not easy to get the job you deserve as soon as you start looking for it. Often, it takes relatively longer than it took to get your first job, when you want to return to work. It is easy to lose patience and get desperate at this time. But consider this – when you are not working, you have the invaluable time to work on something else: YOU. I remember the time I was on my break – I just randomly applied for jobs -and that’s when I really became desperate and depressed. I kept wondering if I was really wanted back!

I decided to take control of the situation. I cut back on the hours spent on Job Search to only 2 hours a day. That not only made my job-searching more productive, but it left the rest of the time for other things in my life. I volunteered at my son’s school, helped a friend setting up her retail outlet for Indian ethnic wear, and a few days just helped out at a local library in the UK.

When you want to return to work, use this job hunting time to try something new, such as learn a complimentary skill or join a new hobby class. Interning is a great way to be productive, and it can provide great CV-boosting experience. Making time for myself completely reshaped my confidence. My situation had not changed, I still needed a job. But I was much calmer and confident. I took this time to evaluate what I wanted, I finally landed a temporary job, which eventually led to Entrepreneurship!

Yes, I know – it’s tough, but remember that this situation isn’t going to stay forever. Keep trying and stay positive—and you, too will be on your way to your career comeback. Here are some of my tips that will come handy whenever you want to return to work:

Only apply for jobs you really want

I have come across job seekers who get extremely carried away and forget what they actually want from their career. When you apply for unrelated jobs that have nothing to do with your field, the interviewer can easily make out that you are desperate and urgently in need of a job. Companies are usually keen to hire people who have a sound choice and who have opted for the job because they are good at it. They do not wish to hire candidates who lack focus. It will thus weaken your chances.

When you apply for a position where you have the skills you need, things become much simpler. If you are passionate about the field you have chosen or have experience in, you will easily be able to demonstrate it in your interview.

Don’t offer to work for a lower salary

When you are asked about your salary expectations, do not stoop low. Stick to the standard salary expectation. I have heard job seekers say, ‘I don’t mind lesser salary, but I just need this job.’ Not highly recommended! Just be confident while stating your expectation as the industry standard. Job satisfaction can be achieved only if you get a salary as per your qualifications. Maintain your stand. Be flexible but don’t bend your back.

Modify your cover letter & resume

An applicant who is desperately applying for jobs may have the same cover letter for multiple jobs. Companies strictly ignore copy-pasted cover letters as spam. If you really wish to get the job, make time to customize cover letters for different types of jobs. They create a greater impact on the interviewers and you get an opportunity to highlight the relevant skills that the job demands.

Avoid signs of desperation during the interview process

Everyone is bound to get nervous during the interview – a trainee, a director or a returnee. It’s only normal. Nervousness can be controlled but desperation will work against you. The major drawback of getting desperate is that you miss out on some really good opportunities. Stress prevents you from putting in your best. When you are stressed, your mind is not free to think fresh. And we know that a sound mind is a vital component of all successful restart stories.

So, stay calm, focussed and confident and make a successful restart story of your own.

Top image via Unsplash

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About the author: Sheetal Arora is the founder of Women Restart, a support platform for women trying to make a career comeback. A firm believer that Women Participation in Workforce can take an Organization from good to Great. A mother of two, she loves to travel and is a sports enthusiast.

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