Did you miss Gaby Hinsliff’s inspiring article about ‘alpha-returners’ in Times2 on Tuesday 11th June: “Welcome to the World of the MumBack?” Lots of great stories of women who have worked their way back up to senior positions in politics, academia and business after career breaks (it’s never too late – Professor Margaret Rayman had a 17 year break). The article featured my ‘Tips for getting back to the top” which I thought would be a useful to include here, with a bit more detail than was possible in the original.
getting back to work after a long break
your skills. For each of your past paid and unpaid roles, write down all the skills you used and make sure these come across clearly on your CV. If you remind yourself of your strengths and achievements you’ll start to feel more confident. And you’ll be surprised how quickly your confidence comes back once you get back into work.
limit your search to advertised jobs. Start with a clear idea of what you want to do, then work out how you can do it flexibly, as this will give you more options and is more likely to lead to a satisfying job.
the word. Women returning after a long break are most likely to find a job through their networks. Start with telling your friends, family and acquaintances what you would like to do. Get back in touch with old colleagues and student friends (LinkedIn alumni groups can be very useful here). Make new contacts by joining industry groups, attending seminars and conferences, or volunteering. Tips on telling your story here
your industry knowledge and find out about current issues by reading articles, checking company websites and LinkedIn sites and talking to people in your sector.
you are ready to go back. There’s no point trying to find a job while worrying
whether you are doing the right thing.
intimidated by technological change; a quick IT course, or any teenager, can
get you up to speed.
that you are the same capable professional you were before your break – you’re just out of practice!