If you are like many parents returning or considering returning to work after being absent for a significant amount of time you are likely feeling nervous and overwhelmed, particularly since the world of work – and the recruitment process – are continually changing.
You may even find yourself wondering if you can measure up or fit in where you left off or if you will find a role that will suit you and your needs. It’s possible your life is very different now to what it was when you last worked. The good news is that we are seeing more and more employers embrace flexibility, and creating more shared and part-time roles with working parents in mind.
But where to start? Here are five crucial steps to consider when looking at returning to the workforce.
1. Know what you want
The first step in returning to work is to understand what you want from your role. Why do you want to return to work? What key factors come into play when determining if a position is going to be suitable and fit around the priorities of your family?
Too often in the job search process, you can fall into the trap of trying to fit your life and commitments into the mould of what an employer wants. But in reality, it is a two-way street. By knowing what will work best for you, your negotiable and non-negotiables will become clear, making it easier to find the role that you both want and need.
2. Understand what employers are looking for in your industry
The next step is to research your industry. What are the employers seeking? What skills are being prioritised at the moment? To gather this information, speak to past colleagues, industry specialists and sector-specific recruiters.
This will give you critical insight into what areas you may need to upskill in, how to position yourself as the best candidate at an interview, likely salary ranges and greater confidence in asking and negotiating.
3. Approach your previous employer
If you loved where you worked previously and had a good working relationship with your employer and co-workers, don’t be afraid to reach out to them to see if there is anything that could be suitable.
These conversations may also lead to introductions that help you secure that perfect role! Don’t be afraid to let your network know that you are available, and that you are keen to be connected.
4. Make a plan to fill skill gaps
If you have identified there are some skill gaps since you were last in the industry, prioritise the skills you need to develop and start to update them accordingly. Don’t be put off by the commitment of formal education channels, there are also many courses available through sites like Udemy, Linda and even YouTube that can help you upskill with little to no expense.
Don’t be afraid to reference courses you are undertaking in your resume either, showing initiative to update your skills and remain up to date works favourably.
5. Develop your resume and familiarise yourself with the recruitment process
If you have been out of the workforce for a few years, then you may be surprised at just how much has changed in the recruitment process. Familiarising yourself with current procedures and expectations is crucial.
It’s also essential to ensure that your resume is updated to current format standards and is functional for the role you’re seeking, rather than just chronologically outlining your work experience. Having a contemporary resume that reflects you and your skills goes a long way to setting a good foothold in the market.
If you are not confident in doing up your resume, feel a little lost in the recruitment process and are unsure in how to position yourself as a strong candidate through the interview process then you may want to check out our online career program Starting Over.
The Starting Over program has been specifically designed for job seekers, like you, who are returning to the workplace after significant time away. Over eight weeks, you will gain the knowledge, tools and support you need through the job searching stage and find out how to maximise the job opportunities available to you. You can learn more by clicking here.
Want more free resources that will help make your job search easier? Enter your details in our resources section for an all-access pass to job hunting resources. We’ve put together plenty of great tips to help you to be more successful in your job search.