Being on track even when on a career break

People take a career break, due to varied reasons. It can be elder care, full time parenting, personal health issues, at times to break the monotony of their professional life. Employers can be hesitant; they may have doubts on their competency and dependability, when they decide to re-enter.

Women are known to take these breaks more, thus leading to disparity in gender ratio in the mid-level and senior level jobs. According to a study by Lean In and McKinsey almost 43% women exit from their jobs due to other priorities. Of these all most 90% go for resume building again, but only 40% actually join the job force again. These statistics clearly states a few facts. Women do have the intent to re-join the work force but, due to various reasons they find this task daunting. This significant drop in re entering the work force damages the talent pool significantly. Here, we come to the most crucial question. What should one do, so that re entering the job market is not difficult?

Never stop upskilling. Today’s job market is highly dynamic, with frequent changes in technology and methodology. If you have been in the software industry, keep upskilling your languages. If you belonged to the finance field, keep track of the change in regulations and business practices.

Voracious Reading. The world is changing rapidly. If you are out of a job, does not mean you sign off from the world and its issues. I took an 18-year break, what I did most was read up and be well informed on almost all issues. Your awareness on current affairs, business jargons, work culture, ever changing world of work etiquettes makes your re-entering seamless.

Paradigm Shift. In a world where nothing is permanent excepting change, awareness of such changes is critical. I often call myself a dinosaur in the professional world. When I left; all official correspondence was done through official letters, today it is emails. I considered myself the master of my pen and my world of paper. Today no paper is exchanged, we write on a laptop and then share. PC had come, but it was not common, today your business is encompassed in the laptop. Knowledge of the subject was sufficient for a teacher, today she should know about the Olympiads, SAT. etc. In a world of everchanging dynamics, one should not get lost but rise as an Olympus.

Shattering glass ceilings. It is normal to get complacent, and try to postpone your re-entry. The fire within you might ebb, you need to re-kindle it from time to time. The need is to stand in front of the mirror and convince yourself that there are more glass ceilings to be shattered. You deserve to achieve a lot more than you have achieved, what is required is to get up and give it a shot.

“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. You were meant to rule, stand up and start living and breathing your dream again.

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