There are many reasons any one of us may take a break from work, whether that's to spend more time with family or due to an illness. And whether it's for 6 months or 6 years, one thing all returners have in common is the worry that their homecoming will be an uphill climb.
These fears are unfortunately not unfounded, with Burcu Erdur, whose past experience included several senior positions, telling Vodafone that after a 2 year break "it was as if I'd never worked. I felt like my career break wiped clean all of my previous career achievements."
Burcu Erdur found her salvation within the Vodafone Reconnect Programme, which offers professionals a chance to refresh their skills and make the professional connections that are needed.
With the programme running in 26 countries and a target of 1000 new recruits over the next 3 years, Vodafone's scheme hits upon the vital point that returning workers are an untapped talent pool, one which Vodafone estimates could generate an additional economic value of around £151 billion, if properly utilized.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who've helped 300 returners since 2012, through their own Returning Talent Programme, have recognized the abundance of benefits that come with hiring those who've taken time away, and their workshops and guidance helps returners to utilise their skills in the best way possible.
Schemes like those at Vodafone and Bank of America, make the recruitment process less daunting for those who are out of the game, however there are also small changes you can be doing yourself. In each stage of the job search a little additional effort goes a long way. When it comes to your CV, present your career break exactly as you would a job, with positives you have gained from the experience. Don't try and sweep the time away under the carpet, as the hiring manager will pick up on it, and you could risk their questions at interview dwarfing any experience you have previously built.
Making sure you are up to date with new technology could give you a crucial edge during the recruitment process. You can complete online courses relatively cheaply and putting the effort in will show your commitment and easy any fears that you might leave again.
Our recruiters can also help to further guide you into your new role, with Deirdre Critchley, formerly of CityJobs, writing "the route back to work after taking time out is difficult without Recruitment programmes, training and employee support networks."
If you're looking to get back to work after time away, give us a call and we'll be happy to help!