When we talk about Career Break, we generally think about Women and not Men. Why?
Because in most of the cases, it is women who needs to sacrifice her career, willingly or unwillingly due to various reasons like upbringing of kids, taking care of family & elders, etc.
But there are lot more other reasons which tend us to take this decision, like mental/ physical health, personal commitments, some other aspirations, higher studies, hobbies, etc., where Men are also equally eligible to take a break from his career.
Now a days, we always talk about gender equality, so the society needs to take care of gender equality in this area as well. Career break should not be gender-biased and treated like a TABOO for men.
Anyways, the main agenda of this topic is not about gender inequality but discussing about different aspects of Career Break- like decision, impact, consequences, hurdles, overcoming techniques, etc. Let’s have a look at various phases through this journey- Before Career Break, During Career Break and Process of resuming career after a break.
BEFORE CAREER BREAK:
Either its Men or Women, it is a tough decision to take a break from his/her well-settled career, when they might be growing exponentially and have some aspirations or ambitions to achieve their dream in career path.
So, this decision should not be taken HASTILY. In fact, it should be planned well in advance. There must be some thought process for it but there might be exceptions in some cases when someone cannot plan his/her career break in advance like any emergency situation in family or any unavoidable situation where it impacts your career.
So, remember, if we are in a situation when we need to take this decision, first of all CALM YOURSELF AND DON'T PANIC.
In our male dominated society, generally women get traumatized by the situation which demands them to take a break from their career to fulfill other responsibilities. This makes them defensive, aggressive and even possessive about their future. They start fighting back with the situation rather than solving it, which in turn makes it more complicated.
So, follow the below tips to solve your dilemma. Just relax and think about each and every aspect of the situation:
1. In the current situation, what is more important for you, your career or other factor for which you need to take break?
2. What will happen if I don't take a break from career? Will I lose something very important in my life than my career?
3. How will I manage my financials if I take a break? Is there any alternate plan to manage it?
If possible, we should discuss our dilemma with our partner, family, friend, or dear ones, and should not keep it to ourselves.
Remember, you are not going to QUIT your career, it’s just a BREAK, it will start again. So, handle the situation with POSITIVITY.
DURING CAREER BREAK:
As soon as you start your career break, never let yourself forget that you're again going to resume it sooner or later. Always live with this positive and assertive thinking and see how your life becomes easy!
1. Keep in touch with your professionalism and remain up to date by means of self-study. The way we do our daily chores, similarly, allocate some time for your self-upgradation.
2. Utilize the break time not to just perform your responsibility, but to reskill and upskill yourself. Knowledge Never Gets Wasted. Even if you will not be able to restart your career in future, don't let that fear to refrain you from being knowledgeable.
3. Always study the market and keep updated with the latest trend. Like how the market is behaving with the current situation, how technologies are upgrading, what is the breaking news relevant to your profession, what is new and what is outdated, etc.
4. Attend trainings and enroll yourself for some online courses as per your availability.
Add certifications to your resume as it will provide a foundation of your broad and deep understanding. It will add some weightage to your resume, and can give you a competitive advantage, more job opportunities, a higher pay scale, etc. in future when you will plan to restart your career again.
TIPS ON HOW TO RESUME YOUR CAREER AFTER A BREAK:
1. Invest time to make your resume, as this is the first and important level of screening and shortlisting for employers while selecting the candidates for job.
Mention about your career gap, but in a constructive way. Mention about the things you have learned, attended trainings, any voluntary work that can be useful to enhance you profile or personality development. Like soft-skill training, teaching, online tuition, blogging, freelancing etc.
2. Market yourself, identify a target audience and understand your potential employers.
Announce your willingness to restart your career after a break. Highlight the benefits which employer will get in hiring you- like points mentioned below:
Since you're an immediate joiner, so the company will have that assurance that you're more likely to join them. In that case, company might prefer you than another candidate for whom they may have to wait for so long and then they might not turn up.
During the break, since you got time to upgrade your profile with upskilled trainings and certifications, you will have that added advantage. Do not let the employer feel that you are not up to the mark with latest trend and technology and hence cannot cope up with the loss from you career gap.
3. Advertise your skills and expertise in job portals and professional networking websites like LinkedIn, etc.
4. Don't be impatient if you are not succeeding in your attempts. Stop and revise your method of approaching for jobs, make necessary changes and retry again.
5. Believe in yourself and be confident. Sometimes this becomes the only criteria to bounce back after your career break.
Slow and steady wins the race!
HUMBLE REQUESTS FOR ALL RECRUITERS:
Dear Recruiters, please read the below ardent requests from a Candidate, who wants to resume his/her career after a break:
1. Please DO NOT treat a career break in anyone's resume as a BIG VOID which cannot be filled.
2. Please DO NOT judge them based on their gap from employment. Rather judge them by their knowledge, potential and confidence.
3. Please DO NOT demotivate the candidate by pinpointing about their employment gap and the loses they had made to their career. Rather encourage them to have a great comeback with ample of opportunities.
4. Please DO NOT try to negotiate on their salary based on their career break and last drawn salary. Rather show an UNBIASED mindset to offer them a salary based on their roles and responsibilities, their expertise on that particular area, and also considering the market standard and company's budget.
So, my dear friends, please remember that - Career Break is NOT a Gap or Void, it gives us time to RESET, REFOCUS & RESTART
"Starting over is the opportunity to come back better than before"- Ryan Kahn