Many women take a career break to look after their young children then return to corporate life a few years later. The return can be challenging especially when the break has been a long one. The following are some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible:
1. Keep Your Skills Current
Before you plunge back into a job hunt, you need to know the requirements for the position you want. Chances are, a lot has changed since you left the workforce. Employers are looking for people who can hit the ground running. So, if you have kept your skills and job connections up to date during your break, well done! If you have done some related consulting or freelance work as well, that’s even better.
If you need to refresh your skills to stay abreast of the latest changes in your industry, join a professional organisation. There are also lot of career and tech related talks at co-working spaces that are available for free or a nominal fee. By meeting your peers face to face, you’ll get practical pointers and make valuable connections at the same time.
2. Update Your Resume
When your resume has a gap and you do not have related consulting or freelance work, it’s time to dig deep and figure out how to package your break experience into something relevant for the job you’re applying for. It’s a great idea to volunteer in organisations and associations to update your resume with useful skills.
If you have volunteered in organising fund raising events for your child’s school, list your leadership, sales and project management experience and skills that came in handy for the role. If you helped set up and maintain a blog for a non-profit, this counts as relevant experience for a position in digital content creation. Just because you were not paid for your skills and effort does not negate your value.
3. Reconnect With Former Employers And Colleagues
There’s no better time to meet your previous employers and colleagues for a meal or coffee to catch up on the latest in each other’s lives and to let them know that you are available for job opportunities.
Having worked with you before and having a good relationship with you, they will be more encouraging and motivated to give you introductions to hiring managers and leads to jobs that they believe you are capable of doing.
4. Work Your Social Network
Social media is a great way to let your Facebook friends and contacts know that you are looking for a job. Be specific with what you are looking for so that you’ll get leads to jobs that you actually want. You can also join relevant Facebook groups and subscribe to updates on job vacancies. A lot of employers are searching for candidates on LinkedIn, so it’s recommended to update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your work experience and areas of interest.
With these tips, a huge dose of confidence and a suitable amount of time, you’ll have a good chance of making a smooth transition to working life. As an additional incentive, it has been proposed in the recently announced 2018 Malaysian budget that women who are returning to work after a career break of at least 2 years should be exempted from paying individual income tax. If this proposal goes through (and there’s a very good chance that it will), your family will get to enjoy the full benefits of your labour as your disposable income increases. We wish you the very best of luck in your job hunt!
Protecting Your Family At Home And At Work
Whether you are a stay-at-home-mom or making a career comeback soon, it’s important to ensure that your family is protected should anything unfortunate happen to you. EZCover by EZTakaful pays a lump sum of up to RM525,000 to your family plus weekly cash benefits, which provides a safeguard against loss of income after an accident occurs. Benefits are paid directly to you or your family tax-free in addition to your existing insurance policies. Best of all, the plans start from RM10 a month and the monthly premiums do not increase as you age. To find out more, visit EZTakaful today.