get, set return.

Taking a break from careers is quite common for women around the world. These breaks or interruptions might be due to unpleasant and unfavorable situations (health issues) or changes in priorities (marriage, motherhood, sabbatical for education, research). Whatever the reasons and experiences are, one may decide to “come back”. This difficult, unnerving decision might bring a lot of anxiety. However, one must keep in mind that the new career should reflect who you are currently.

Let us learn how you can prepare for the ‘returnship’.

Create a vision

1. Family support – Discuss with family and friends. See how they can contribute to decision-making and offer you help. Have frequent conversations with them.

2. Evaluate: Ask the 5W1H questions on various aspects of a comeback career.

E.g.- The nature of work you want to take up: part-time/full-time, WFH / office job / hybrid job, working hours, the hurdles you might face.

– Your expectations from the job: income, job satisfaction, growth opportunities. – Assess your situation: circumstantial ability to travel, required support system.

– Identify the sweet spot: what you enjoy and what you are good at. Take a SWOT analysis.

Update yourself as a brand

1. Refresh and rebuild your network: This will make you aware of the current trends in the industry of interest.

2. Recreate your social profiles: Use proper keywords and tags. These might open new opportunities.

3. Rework

– Your resume: This talks a lot about who you are as a person. Don’t make false claims.

– Learn and re-learn the skills required: You might need to learn a few advanced technologies.

– Your fitness: Be prepared physically as well as mentally to face all the challenges that the new job might offer.

– Your wardrobe: Neat, appropriate dresses and smart accessories are a must. Be creative but moderate. Prepare in advance

– For the interview: Research the company you are seeking a job from. Work on your professional look and readiness. Remember the importance of non-verbal communication. Be open about your career gap, the reason for the break, and how you utilized that time.

– Your pitch: Prepare an opening speech that is short, crisp, and precise that will represent you in 30-60 seconds.

– Plan your first day: Be professional. Ask for the start date, office hours, rules, and code of conduct. Know the traffic as you don’t want to be late on your first day. Practice the timings if possible.

The most important asset: Your confident smile, wear that often.

Though this article is intended to make you ‘job ready’; you can ponder upon the points even if you want to start a business.

Remember, there are a good number of organizations that will help you restart your career. Be ready to change the course!

Author Dr. Aabha Pimprikar is a Dentist, Entrepreneur, and Life Skills Trainer

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