working after baby

12 Tips for Prepping to Work After Career Gap

I am sure every working mom at some point in time wishes to be at home with their babies and not worry about going to work ever. However, this choice does not come easy for many as sharing the family’s financial expenses, which are as it is elevated after a baby, becomes a necessity.  

Even for those who can choose to stay at home and not work, returning to work after having a baby can be physically and emotionally daunting. My almost 7 years of being at home was my choice, and so was the decision to return. What I did not expect was how difficult it was to get back into the corporate game. 

My prior experience meant nothing to any recruiter. I dreaded hearing stories of women returning after 45 days of maternity leave and were either fired or forced to leave stating bizarre reasons.

How to prepare before starting work after baby

Restarting your career after years might seem challenging, but with a strategic approach and determination, you can certainly achieve your goals. Following are some of the areas where you can work around to prepare to start working after a baby. 

1. A self-assessment of your own skills.

Sit down and jot down what are your skillset, strengths, or area of expertise. One of the biggest advantages of working after such a big gap is that you can start fresh and choose a career that you have always loved to do.

2. Set Clear Goals.

Define your career objectives. Do you want to return to the same role or transition to a different one? You can also work on your timelines, which personally helps me push to achieve my goals within the set time.

3. Skill Enhancement

Identify the skills that are relevant in your desired field. Depending on how the industry has evolved during your gap, you might need to update your skills or learn new ones. Online courses, workshops, and certifications can help you bridge any skill gaps.

4. Networking

Reconnect with your professional network. Attend industry events, seminars, and workshops to meet people and learn about the latest trends. In a world where it is so easy now to connect to people of interest, it will help you hugely in your job search and securing the right role. 

5. Update Your Resume

Update your resume to reflect your experiences and any new skills you’ve acquired during your time away. Emphasize transferable skills such as time management, communication, problem-solving, and adaptability.

6. Job Search

Start searching for job openings that align with your goals and skills. Use job search engines, company websites, and professional networking platforms to find opportunities.

7. Volunteer or Freelance

If you’re finding it difficult to secure a full-time role immediately, consider volunteering, freelancing, or taking on short-term projects. This can help you gain recent experience, build your network, and fill gaps in your resume. You can be with your baby and have a career as well.

8. Be Transparent

During interviews, be open and honest about your career gap. Explain the reasons for your break and how you’ve used that time to enhance your skills or pursue personal growth. Focus on your readiness to contribute effectively to the workplace.

9. Interview Preparation

Practice your interviewing skills. Be ready to discuss your previous experiences, the skills you bring to the table, and your motivation for returning to work. 

10. Being persistent is the key

Looking for a job after a gap can be frustrating and challenging. Rejection is a part of the process and calls for interviews can seem like ages to attain. However, stay persistent and keep refining your approach based on the feedback you receive.

11. Consider Further Education

Depending on the field, you might benefit from further education, such as pursuing a master’s degree or attending workshops specific to your industry.

12. Stay Positive and Patient

Returning to work after a long gap can take time. Stay positive, patient, and adaptable as you navigate this journey.

Remember, career gaps are becoming increasingly common, and employers understand that personal circumstances can lead to breaks. Highlight your strengths, skills, and your eagerness to contribute, and you’ll be on your way to restarting your career successfully.

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