Looking at the topic of working women and career breaks, a study by the Center for Talent Innovation found that:
- Around 30% of women took a break from their career.
- The average timeframe for these breaks was 2 years and 7 months.
- 60% of women who took a career break, were not able to find a full time job, when they were ready to reenter the workforce.
Employers will often cast aside your resume if they see a gap in employment.
So how can you plan for, position and work around gaps in your resume?
The Best Strategy For Managing Expected Employment Gaps is to AVOID THEM!
You are probably scratching your head at this suggestion.
The point is that you can easily take steps to ensure that your skills stay sharp during your break and that you stay relevant.
Here are 5 things you can do:
Go Back to School
Having a break from work provides a great time for you to further educate yourself on important topics and trends in your industry.
Whether it’s short courses or a full blown degree, continuing education is a great idea.
You’ll learn new things, meet new people and upgrade your skills.
With an increase in the number of distance and part-time study options, it’s much easier to pursue this goal nowadays.
Stay Active with Freelance Gigs
Engaging in freelance work is also an excellent way to stay in the game.
If you’re lucky you’ll get paid for it as well. If not, then it’ll be very valuable to show on your resume and will make potential employers happier.
Small and medium sized companies are a good target for such gigs, since they often need people to manage extra demand and ad hoc projects.
Share Your Expertise Regularly
Showing your expertise and business smarts through writing a blog or participating in social media, can be a great way to demonstrate your value to future employers.
In addition to channels such as LinkedIn, you can also try and contribute to magazines and journals, for your industry/function.
Keep Meeting People
Just because you’re not working full time, doesn’t mean that you should ignore people in your industry.
Continue to participate in events, seminars and other networking opportunities, to keep yourself in the game.
Volunteering is also a great way to stay active. It could be in a general role, or one that is relevant for your area of expertise.