Many of us don’t return to the career we had before becoming parents. Then we lose confidence in ourselves, and feel out of touch. But worry not – here are some tips to help you back into the work place.
1. Charity work
Whether it’s the school PTA or a children’s trust, charity work can provide reams of knowledge and experience that are ideal for professional life. Make sure you detail the level of responsibility and skills you gained on your CV. Our guide on using mum skills to return to work might also give you a few more ideas on the volunteering you could do.
2. Short courses
Local colleges offer free courses to help people back into the work place. Ask your local library about what’s available in your area. Many have crèche facilities available, too.
3. Online training
If you’re feeling behind on social networking, new media and latest technology have a look for online courses. Many packages and websites have demonstrations you can watch on your pc at home.
4. Open university
Whether you’re looking to learn something new or study at a higher level, there are literally hundreds of courses – from business and management, to computing and teaching. Study from home or work whenever it suits you, and choose from several start dates. There’s financial support available too, to help with the cost.
To boost your confidence and get used to a working environment, register with a few temping agencies. By working in different offices you’ll learn new business environments and procedures. You might also get some excellent contacts and info about new roles.
6. Professional networking sites
Get your profile on a site like LinkedIn or Xing to keep in touch with everyone you knew professionally. Join some of the hundreds of groups to keep across new business areas and share knowledge.
7. Your own networks
Whether it’s the school run mums, family members or friend’s partners, you’re bound to know people from various professional environments. Ask relevant people for training or to show you procedures. You could find out about new positions they’re looking to fill, too.
8. Computer technology
Ask in your local computer store for a demo of newer versions of Microsoft packages to get you up to scratch. Get them to show you how to use unfamiliar packages, or functionality of software you’ve not used for ages. They’ll enjoy the chance to show off a product while you gen up on your knowledge.
9. Work experience
Contact companies where your skills might be relevant or where they do work you’re familiar with, and offer to help out. Even better if they have events and conferences where they need all hands on deck. It’s a great way to get good contacts, demonstrate your worth, and hear about new opportunities.
10. Set up Interviews
70% of jobs don’t get advertised. So arrange coffee with senior staff at companies you’re interested in, and bring your CV. Find out about the work that’s coming up and how they advertise. Make a good impression and it’s you they’ll be calling first.
Still worried about that gap on your CV? Point out that that being out of the rat race for a while has given you time to reflect on your career. You’re now ready to make a positive decision in the right direction.
You might also want to check out our guide on CV dos and don’ts to help prepare you for the jump back into a career.