10 Tips On Returning To Work After A Significant Amount of Time Off

Starting a new job can be daunting for even the most experienced of us, however if you’re returning to work after having a significant amount of time off, returning to the professional world can be a huge challenge for you to overcome.

Whether you are returning after a redundancy, maternity or paternity leave, a long illness or just simply a career break, we have come up with 10 tips on how to boost your confidence and make the return to work a little less overwhelming: 

1) Identify Your Strengths: If you have been off work for a significant amount of time, you may undervalue your skills and what you can offer an employer.  Make a list of your key accomplishments or get someone to help you do so. You can also log on to online strengths assessments which will also help you along the way.

2) Update Your CV: If you haven’t updated your CV since the last time you were employed, it’s going to take a little work to get it up to scratch. To make it a little easier for you, read our handy guide on CVs: /job-seekers.aspx

3) Refresh, Refresh, Refresh: No matter which industry you’re in, some form of legalisation or technology update may have taken place. Search the internet for news stories relating to this, so you can demonstrate to potential employers that you are up to date with the latest developments. 

4) Upskill: As well as refreshing your knowledge, it’s important to upskill yourself. You can do this by looking for courses at a local college or online. Work placements or voluntary work can also help with this before your return to employment. 

5) Mind The Gap: Prepare yourself for being asked about the gap in your employment. You don’t ever need to apologise for your break in employment. However, don’t forget to mention any relevant experience you have had during this time to boost your career.

6) A Problem Shared Is A Problem Halved: If you do have any concerns about returning to work, do share these with a relative, friend or with the employer. You’ll be able to work through any issues together to reach a resolution. 

7) Stay Connected: It’s so important to network with contacts in your field, they maybe able to point you in the right direction towards employers or help you update your skills.

8) Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Having an extended absence from the workplace is the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start and start a career in a new sector.

9) Children: If you’re returning to work after having a child or looking after your family, look into flexible working hours and how they can work for you. There is lots of advice on working tax benefits which can help you out financially:  https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/families

10) Treat Yourself: Use this time to treat yourself to a new haircut of a new work wardrobe.  After all, if you look great, you are bound to feel great as well!  

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