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Making a successful comeback after a break can be difficult for many, but here are some things that work for most women.
Many women drop out of the workforce due to life-stage conflicts. I too decided to pause my career when I was expecting my first child. Rather than attempt to juggle the demands of work and family and potentially fall short on both fronts, I chose to take a temporary career break.
But when I was finally ready to return to work, my career hiatus became a deal-breaker for most employers. Despite performing well in interviews, the concern over my break was consistently brought up, casting doubt on my prospects.
However, I did not let that discourage me. I quickly adapted and shifted gears. I took up freelancing. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, and I faced challenges along the way. But my efforts eventually paid off. In the next few years, I became a successful freelancer with a steady income stream.
As I reflect on the decade since these events, it surprises me that not much has changed. Many women continue to face challenges when trying to return to the workforce after a break.
So, here are my insights on how to navigate the chaos and make a successful comeback.
Despite the bias against women who have taken breaks, returning to work is often not as daunting as it seems. Ignore the skeptics. Remember that age does not define your ability to contribute meaningfully. Have confidence in your skills and you can overcome perceived limitations.
There is a general notion that women tend to be unreliable after a break because of their family commitments and other responsibilities. Tackle it head-on by establishing a foolproof support system at home before you take the leap. Surround yourself with the right people. Learn the art of delegation. Devote your time and energy to the things that matter, even if it means getting extra assistance at times.
Stay informed about industry trends and update your existing skills. You can position yourself as an asset by demonstrating your awareness of advancements in your field. Moreover, clearly articulating the reasons behind your break and expressing your eagerness to re-enter the workforce showcases your commitment and determination.
Finding a good opportunity is rarely easy. So, tap into your network and seek out peers and seniors who can offer support and guidance as you navigate your return. Actively engage on platforms like LinkedIn and attend industry events to reconnect with people you’ve worked with before, expanding your network and uncovering suitable opportunities.
You may have unearthed a hidden passion or stumbled upon a new hobby during your time away from work, just like I did. When I faced challenges getting back into engineering, I explored content writing. It resonated with me better than my previous work, and I discovered a rewarding path I never could have imagined. So, if you find something that truly speaks to you, don’t hesitate to embrace it as a potential career.
Be confident in your abilities, follow your heart, and you might uncover a path that surpasses your wildest expectations, just like I did.
Image source: Olia Danilevich on Pexels
Always on the lookout for new things to learn, I am a voracious reader, globetrotter, ambitious cook and mom to two precious little men. While I'm not experimenting in the kitchen or resolving sibling read more...
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