By Sabina Trench, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers
You may have taken a break to raise your children, some time to explore different things, or you just needed to step off the career carousel for a while. Now you want to get back inthe saddle, and the right approach will make all the difference, writes SABINA TRENCH, CAREER COACH, SLI NUA CAREERS.
What do you want to go back to?
You may have had a high-flying career, long hours, travelling abroad and a super salary to match. However, is this still what you want? Can you commit to this kind of unrelenting schedule and if you can, do you want to? Remember, too, that you may have to return at a lower level just to get you back on track. In fact, re-training may be necessary, so take a look at that too. An honest assessment is needed here, so that you don't waste your time, or that of potential employers.
How is your CV looking?
Depending on how long you were out of the workforce, your CV may be so out of date – and it might make you look out of date too. You will need to revamp, revise and re-imagine how you are going to present your sabbatical. I focus the first half of the first page of CVs on skills and competencies, and leave the list of employers and positions to the bottom of the first page or the top of the second page.
This way, you are focussing on what you can bring to the table, not what you did or didn’t do over the last number of years. However, you will still have to fill the gap, so be honest, but don’t try to be cute or funny. You are a professional looking to reboot your career, so headlines like finding my true self or super Mom don’t make the cut.
How are your networking skills?
Now that you have revamped your CV, it’s time to put the word out there that you are actively looking to get back to work. Start with your last employer (where hopefully you didn’t burn any bridges) and see what might be available there.
Tap into all those new people you’ve met over the last few years, be it at the school gate or volunteering on a committee. They may be in business, or know someone in your area of expertise, and put the two of you together. LinkedIn is a useful networking tool, so get your profile up there too.
When was your last job interview?
The CV is done, the word is out there, and you have been invited to interview. Often your biggest challenge will be confidence.
I haven’t worked in years, everyone will be younger and more up to date. Stop. You have skills, you used those skills in your career pre-break, and you are perfectly capable of deploying those skills in any new job.
In Sli Nua Careers, we always say, think relevant not recent. If you managed to grow sales by 20% ten years ago, there is no reason why you can’t achieve similar results in the future.
Finally, don’t make excuses for taking time out. You were perfectly entitled to do it, and you’ll come back to the world of work refreshed and revitalised. So while you may not get back on the same rung, the main thing is you are back on the ladder. Good for you.
Sabina Trench is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers, who have offices in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, Athlone, Sligo and Mayo, plus a full online service. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, personal statements and application forms.