5 Ways to Bridge the Career Gap

career gap

5 Ways to Bridge the Career Gap

Finding employment is tough enough in our competitive world, and when you have a professional gap between jobs, it becomes a lot tougher. But that interruption does not mean it is impossible to find work. Whether for maternity leave, an extended absence due to your health, or some other personal reason, the career comeback can be very difficult. Many times the problem is you are out of touch with your old professional self.
Other difficult situations often arise, creating additional pressure when you return from a long break. Your employer now prefers to delegate the important projects to your colleagues, or if you are searching for a job, you are rejected because of the gap in your employment history. Sometimes you may have to compete with younger candidates for the same position. These situations can have a disastrous effect on your fragile confidence and tend to break down your self-esteem. Here are some tips to help you maintain a positive attitude and improve your skills assessment for a potential employer.

You are still the same person that you were before the career break

1. Reinvent your resume
Chuck the old chronological resume that you used earlier. The best way to move the focus away from your gap period is to make your resume based on skills rather than experience. Focus on your skills that can be associated with the job profile you are applying for. Do research on the profile first. Make a list of your own skills and then compare yours with the job skills required. Then select your skills that most closely relate to the ones the employer wants.

2. Gather all the confidence you can
The biggest challenge you can face while returning from a long break is your own confidence to deal with it. Repeated rejections from job applications can be a big confidence breaker. You will need all the support and confidence you can muster. Be clear about your strengths and skills. Even though you might have faded memories of your professional work, you never lose some skills. Bank on these assets to gain back your confidence.

3. It’s time to reconnect your professional network
A professional network is always a life-saver when you are desperately looking for a job. If you have lost touch during the long break, now is the time for you to start reconnecting. Reach out to your friends, family and ex-colleagues about the job that you are looking for and also for tips that will help you get back on the professional track.

4. Check out other career avenues
Various career opportunities such as creative writing, art direction and web design make allowances for career gaps. For example, if you have a successful history in graphic design, you might need very little learning on the job or in class to refresh your skills. You need to convince the interviewer that you have the requisite skills to do the job. Another way to refresh your skills and industry knowledge is to stay current by reading trade publications and volunteering.

5. Register for skills training classes
Another great way to ease the transition back into your career field is to upgrade or refresh your skills. Hundreds of classroom and online programs can help you regain the confidence and practice needed to perform the work you had been doing. A few hours in class can go a long way toward helping you regain your skills, along with your confidence.

Returning to work is all about confidence and the trust that you need to place in yourself. Remember, you are still the same person that you were before the career break.

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasib is a professional writer working with one of the prominent job websites in India, naukri.com. As a career coach, he helps professionals in making decisions related to career and job opportunities. He is an avid reader and lives for two things, football and food. If he is not involved in any of those, you can find him contemplating existential issues.

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