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10 Winning Steps To Bridge Your Career Gap



Introduction

After 10 years of a successful career as a senior software engineer, Olivia decided to take a break to look after her kids as striking the right cord between personal and professional aspirations was not in-tune. After two years of career gaps, she is now working with a top MNC, and her salary is still pretty decent. Do you know what she did right? She had a certification in advanced programming in hand, some freelancing projects, and a lot of confidence.

Are you demotivated by the fact that reentering the workforce after a long absence is quite challenging?

Or everyone around is telling you that career gaps affect career progression?

Or if you are aware of career return programs for women returning to work by Google, Amazon, and some other top companies.

This Blog will Guide you Through:

  1.  The best 10 steps to getting back at work after career gaps.
  2.  Some of the best career return programs.
  3. Reasons for a career gap and how to present it to the recruiter. 
  4.  Current jobs are for candidates with career gaps.

Let's start by exploring the winning 10 steps that will outshine you and get you the desired job after career gaps.

Winning Tips For Getting Back At Work After Career Gaps

Yes, all we have is now! Don’t overthink, don't wait for the right time, make it happen. Bridge your career gaps, “NOW” is the time!

It's no rocket science to get back to your work life after career gaps. You need to plan it right, face any roadblocks confidently and put your best foot forward. Here are the 10 practical steps to getting back at work after career gaps.

10 essential tis

#1. Reflect Upon Your Current Situation

Before you start applying for a job, and try reentering the workforce after a long absence, understand where you are currently in terms of industry knowledge and skills. If you lack these aspects, first work towards upscaling yourself. 

Let's say you are applying for the role of a software engineer; check if you require knowledge of any recent technology or tool. Also, do you have any advanced certification in a programming language to add more weightage to your resume? 

The best way for self-reflection is to do a SWOT analysis and come up with the best solution. Also, consider reaching out to a career consultant who can guide you over the right career path.

#2. Join Career Return Programs

Look for career return programs like Deloitte, Accenture and many others run this kind of program especially for women returning to work. It's a 20-week program to provide customized support to people who had a career gap and are now willing to get back in momentum. Some note-worthy programs for candidates returning to work after long absence are:

Accenture – Career Reboot for Women

The program lays a solid platform to interact with the industry experts and the leadership team of Accenture. The valuable insights help shape up direction for a career restart. 

Goldman Sachs – Returnship

The program is very effective, but highly competitive and has minimal seats. 

Hindustan Unilever – Career By Choice

HUL Career By Choice helps in striking the right balance between personal and professional life. It ensures a smooth transition to corporate life with utmost support to candidates looking for the right answer to how to get a job when you haven't worked in years.

Rekindle Amazon

Amazon started the initiative to support and encourage women to resume their corporate life on a career break. The company provides mentorship, proper onboarding, flexible work options, and on the job learning to selected candidates. 

Target India

Back on Target focuses on women with career gaps or on a sabbatical to enter the work life. They help with job roles in the field of technology, analytics, and marketing and will be expanding to many more roles.

Google gCareer Program

The gCareer program is for qualified women professionals who have taken a year or longer of career gaps. gCareer was created to attract women with various backgrounds and experiences who have been out of the job, and are interested in joining Google's advertising teams and working in a dynamic environment.

GE India - RESTART

GE India has launched a restart program for returning women. The program is dedicated to employing female scientists and engineers who have taken career gaps and want to return to work.

Microsoft - Springboard

This is a one-of-a-kind program created to assist women returning to work after taking a sabbatical. The program enables women to choose the types of projects, duration, and even work hours.

Capgemini - Career Comeback

Capgemini actively assists competent female professionals who are looking to return to the workforce. They welcome eager and talented women willing to go back into their work mode through this program.

JP Morgan's global ReEntry program is another great initiative that gives great networking opportunities to re-join corporate life. 

Organizations that assist women in resuming their careers

SHEROES is one organization that curates corporate and flexible work-from-home opportunities for women. They have been assisting working women to locate mentors and services by forming a community. 

HerSecondInnings, the platform helps women with career gaps connect with the right career opportunity and receive coaching that helps them improve their abilities. E-coaching sessions are also available.

These initiatives are being implemented around the globe because they have proven to be an excellent approach to assist women who have career gaps. Hope this answers how to get back into the workforce after a long break.

#3. Hone On Your Skills

Now that you know where you stand regarding career opportunities, upscale yourself by taking a certification course. By enrolling for such skill enhancement courses, you get connected with industry experts as they generally deliver the course content, you may even figure out some good internship opportunities, can do classes remotely, and they are easy on the pocket. 

Some popular certifications during career gaps you may consider taking up, that works well for both technical and non-technical background are:

Also read about the best entry-level IT jobs that are great alternative when reentering the workforce after a long absence - https://www.janbasktraining.com/blog/entry-level-it-jobs

Have any other course or career path in mind, write in the comment box below, and our career counselors will guide you through.

#4. Work On Your Resume and Cover Letter

Use your career gaps as an advantage that makes your resume stand out. Here’s how to make the best career break resume:

  • Highlight the certifications and skills that you acquired during career gaps.
  • Focus on your past achievements and how you can be a valuable resource. 
  • State the years of experience you hold and your past job role.
  • Mention projects or initiatives you took up during career gaps.  In this section, you may mention any volunteer work or career come back programs you participated in. For example, you participated in the JP Morgan come back program and worked on multiple projects related to IT; mention that as an experience in your resume. 
  • Mention the duration of your career gap in months. For example, instead of writing '2017-19', write ‘April 2017 to Dec 2019'.
  • Emphasize your accomplishments, recognitions and awards on your resume. When in doubt, always use the STAR technique.
  • Mention the reason for the employment gap in the experience section itself like:
  • March 2017 - Dec 2019 on a sabbatical
  • Don't talk about career gaps in the career summary; this place is for your career highlights and achievements.

Here is a Career Break Resume Samples:

resume

#5. Develop Authentic Connections

When looking for a come-back post-career gap, nothing works better than references and strong connections. 

Here are some essential tips for strong networking:

  • Know where to develop connections. Don’t be limited to social media platforms like Linkedin; attend relevant events, conferences, volunteer programs, trade fairs to build connections faster.
  • Be a storyteller about your career gap, how you uplifted yourself personally and professionally.
  • Make a lasting impression on a handful of contacts instead of rubbing elbows with a hundred.
  • Don't shy away from reaching out to the right people; break the ice.
  • Ask for thoughts and opinions on LinkedIn and Reddit.

#6. Prepare For The Interview

This is the most important part of making a come-back post career gaps, how will you sell yourself so that the recruiter sees the merit in your employment gap and the best of skills you bring on to the table.

Here are the essential tips for interview preparation post career gaps and for reentering the workforce after a long absence:

  • The interviewer will be very interested in knowing about your career gap. If you left the job voluntarily, you would need to explain to them the motivation behind the decision and, if asked to leave, the reason for that. In both, the scenario presents your case strongly, and do not bad mouth your previous company or the manager.
  • Tell them the valid reason and what you did during that period. Mention personal reasons briefly. Highlight skills and certifications you acquired during the time frame.

Examples of the Best Response

resume make

I took a break from my job after the birth of my son. However, I never disconnected myself from the industry and took up a course in digital marketing which also got me freelancing work. This helped me stay current and practice all the marketing tools. Now, as things on the personal front are managed, I am eager to make a comeback. 

During the pandemic, I lost my job due to the vertical being closed down. I utilized the time to get a CISSP certification and sharpened my skills. I have been looking for the right opportunity post completion of the course, and now I am eager to make a comeback.

#7. Look For References and Certifications

A reference or a recommendation note from your ex-employer establishes credibility and does work in case of career gaps.

Certification plays an essential part, especially in case of career gaps. It shows your urge to be better and add value to any role you take up. If you formerly worked in an area that is constantly changing, such as IT or digital marketing, you will almost certainly need to gain new skills before returning to work. 

#8. Be Confident

Be confident about your abilities, and don't compare yourself to others. Instead, read about the latest trends in the industry, keep patience, and have confidence that you will get the best job opportunities post-career gaps.

#9. Take On Freelancing or Volunteer Jobs

Working during the career gaps is one way to stay connected. Take on freelancing assignments if your situation enables it. It will add value to your resume, keep you connected with industry experts, and recruiters find you as a hardworking resource.

#10. Apply For The Right Job, Best Job For Moms Returning To Work

You need to analyze the situation well while getting back to the corporate world. Are you prepared to strike the right balance between personal and professional life, especially in the case of women who have taken a career break. Some significant IT and non-IT jobs that are well-paid, in-demand, and offer remote working options are:

  1. Data Scientist
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. IT Consultant
  4. Business Analyst
  5. Project Manager
  6. Web Designer

You may also apply for the post of an online trainer, teacher, blogger, PR manager, product manager, customer success manager, HR manager, career counselor, and many more.

Are you ready for the next big move? But you can’t avoid roadblocks. Are career gaps a roadblock? Check out our next section.

Does Career Gaps Matter and How To Tell The Recruiter About It?

Precisely career gaps are the period for which the person is not working or is not open to any work opportunities. The reason may be personal or professional. However, no specific period defines career gaps, but from HR perspectives, a break for more than a year is considered as career gaps.

Some of the reasons for career gaps are:

Their can be many personal and professional reasons like career break due to family reasons, some of the critical ones to mention are:

Career Gaps Due To Maternity

However, most companies provide maternity leaves, but at times, females have to make a conscious decision to take a break from work. Here is how to explain in an interview:

  • There is no reason to hide the facts.
  • Share if you took up any certification course during the period.
  • Talk about your skills and how you can be a valuable resource to the company.
  • Assure the interviewer that you are ready for corporate life and eager to start working on priority.

Career Gaps Due To Higher Education

You took a break to upscale yourself, be proud of the fact, and let the world know about it. 

Here is how to explain education as the reason for career gaps:

  • Define your objective of taking up advanced courses.
  • Explain how you are better and ready to add more value.
  • Share any critical projects you worked upon during the course and how they are relevant to the current job you have applied for.

Career Gaps Due To Illness

With the current work structure and pressure, many people take a conscious break from work to focus on their mental and physical well-being, affecting productivity. Here is how to talk about it:

  • Don't get into unnecessary details.
  • Explain you have taken up any course or new skill during the break when you regain your health.

Career Gaps For Doing What You Love

If you don't enjoy what you are doing, you'll never be successful. As a result, many professionals take a conscious break to move into a career of their choice. 

Here is how to do explain it to the interviewer:

  • Sound confident and share your urge to work on what you love.
  • Share your roadmap and what you aim for in the next 5 years.

Career Gaps Due To Asked To Leave

Especially during the pandemic, many organizations have cut down on their workforce. If you even try hiding the facts in the social media era, it's challenging to do so. So here is how to explain this reason to an interviewer:

  • To be honest, there is nothing to feel shy about being asked to leave.
  • Tell the interviewer the reason without speaking negatively about the company.
  • Show your skills, knowledge, experience, and willingness to start over.
  • Sound positive and enthusiastic.

These are some of the factors that lead to career gaps. But, as they say every cloud has a silver lining. Check out our next section and see how positively companies take career gaps nowadays.

What Jobs Are Currently Available For Candidates With A Career Gap?

Here are some jobs and job portals you may check out for the best job opportunity post-career gaps.

Apply @naukri

SDET - Women with career break - Automation testing +Selenium is a must

Hiring women who want to restart their career after a break - Proficiency in Java/UIUX Dev. Apply @ Naukri

Apply@Amazon

There is no shortage of opportunities, and career gaps are not an issue when you plan to come back correctly. So here’s a quick recap of what we have learned.

Final Thoughts

Career gaps happen when you prioritize your well-being, your family, your education, or even if asked to leave; there is no reason to shy off. Being confident, investing in upscaling yourself, taking time to prepare a polished resume, speaking with a consultant for the right career path, preparing well for the interview, and joining career comeback programs will surely put you in the driving seat again.

You have the potential; you have already proved your metal; it’s just a comeback with a bang!

If you are on a career break, share your career plan with us, and we will guide you through it. Or if you are the one who has joined back the corporate life after career gaps, share your story in the comment box below, and be an inspiration. 

If this article made you happy, then don’t forget to like and share!

 

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    Jyotika Prasad

    Through market research and a deep understanding of products and services, Jyotika has been translating complex product information into simple, polished, and engaging content for Janbask Training.


Comments

  • J

    Jax Williams

    The article is really helpful as I was seeking help regarding how to get back to work after a long holiday. And then while discussing it my friend recommended this blog. Thanks team!

     Reply
  • A

    Amari Jones

    I was not aware of the reasons for the career gap as I have not done much work or gained much experience in the job industry. But then I encountered your blog and got to know about the reasons and how to get back into the workforce after a long break.

     Reply
  • Z

    Zane Brown

    Thanks team, for the information you have provided to me I am thankful because I am a fresher and I was thinking of taking a break from my internship. But after going through the facts about the demerits of taking long breaks. I regret my decision.

     Reply
  • E

    Emilio Davis

    I was on a 3 years of gap as I was pursuing my post graduation and other courses simultaneously. I was not aware of the facts or issues I could face but now I am. And won’t repeat the same mistake again. Thanks Team!

     Reply
  • K

    Knox Miller

    What a nice motivational post, I am the one who did b.tech in computer science, but due to some personal reasons I was unable to start a career at that time. Now after ten year i felt I should focus on my career but due to huge gaps, I was a bit scared.

     Reply
  • A

    Adonis Smith

    This scenario is common to most of the womens, when they get married and time to raise their family.

     Reply
  • A

    Aidan Johnson

    I am a woman with a 12 year career gap, and willing to join a data science career but as I explored data science I need python knowledge, how much time it will take to learn python.

     Reply
  • K

    Kaden Brown

    Must read posts for women who don’t dare to resume their career after a long break.

     Reply
  • P

    Paul Wilson

    Love this post, because I am struggling with the same situation, but after reading this post I feel much more confident and motivated to move ahead.

     Reply
  • O

    Omar Moore

    What a nice motivational post, I am the one who did b.tech in computer science, but due to some personal reasons I was unable to start a career at that time. Now after ten year i felt I should focus on my career but due to huge gaps, I was a bit scared.

     Reply

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