No matter how much you commit to your job, sometimes a career gap becomes a necessity. Continuing your job after that gap can be tough. There are many concerns of both employees and employers that become barriers between you and your job. These people, otherwise called relaunchers are important parts of the community.
According to the Harvard Business Review, up to 43% of women take a career gap or permanently leave their careers due to children caregiving issues.
Almost 37% of these women leave their careers simply because they think they are too ‘outdated’ for their job. They may think they are a burden, but in reality, they come with many assets. Let us have a deeper look at their problems.
After a career gap, people regard themselves as outdated
There is a set trend in the workforce of assuming that anyone with a career gap will lack current information. To some extent, this is true, but it is not something that you cannot take care of. Six months are enough to educate yourself about all the happenings in the business world.
Regular updates of the business magazines, building network connections and internet research can help you embrace all the info about current affairs.
Scared of re-entering the professional circle
Try to understand that your colleagues will only remember you from the time you were among them. They do not know you as the lazy or disheveled homemaker or that tired mother you are at times. This is why they will be enthusiastic when you share your desire to come back into the work circle. This positive energy will actually boost your confidence.
In fact, start by building your online presence and start connecting with your co-workers. Not only will it motivate you but it can also steer you in the right direction.
Employers think relaunchers lack technological knowledge
Yes, if you are out of the professional circle for a while you may have little technological knowledge due to the enormous career gap. Again, you can easily fix this. Mastering new technology takes a few months at most. Yes, it can be hard for the first few weeks, but as you get the idea, the new technology will become second nature, just like the old one.
Carol Fishman Cohen, the founder of iRelaunch, says in her Ted Talks speech, “I tell relaunchers that employers expect them to come to the table with a working knowledge of basic office management software. And if they’re not up to speed, then it’s their responsibility to get there. And they do.”
Employers think hiring relaunchers is risky
Many employers assume that people with gaps in a resume are undecided about their career path. They regard them as a fruitless investment.
On the contrary, returning professionals are much more stable than new hires as they are in a much more mature phase of their life. They are willing to come back to work simply because of their desire and will likely be more committed. What’s more, they have already gone through the breaks and have much more stable spouse relationships. This reduces the chances of home-based problems interfering with their schedule.
All this makes them the perfect candidate for the job.
Relaunches have lack of job opportunities
The major problem with employees with career gaps is that employers are not willing to consider them. However, over the years, there has been much awareness and the development of specialized internship programs. These are paid internships where employers get to interact with such professionals without any commitment. It is up to you to prove your worth. At the end of the internship, many companies offer permanent jobs and competitive salaries. Carol Fishermen Cohen writes about these internships in her article for the Harvard business review ‘The 40-Year-Old Intern’.
“If you are returning to work after a career break, don’t hesitate to suggest an internship or an internship-like arrangement to an employer that does not have a formal re-entry internship program. Be their first success story and you can be the example for more relaunchers to come.”
These returnship programs are working miracles for people with gap year who are trying to get back to work. With the right approach, they can indulge in their profession again to finish off what they had started!
We found Back on the Career Track by Carol Fishermen Cohen to be a great book for stay-at-home moms who are planning a return to work.
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