What are your main concerns when thinking about returning to work? Our coaching team have been working closely with the returner community for many years and in this blog, hope to bust the top 5 return to work misconceptions they frequently hear!
- I am too old, no one wants to hire someone my age
When you make the decision to return to work after an extended career break, remind yourself that your wealth of experience and strengths that you have acquired from both your career history and career break really can add value to an organisation. Age is not a factor when you make it clear that you’re still looking for opportunities and challenges to test your intellect and ability and bring your experience to. We have worked with hundreds of returners who have successfully returned to their careers after 5/10/15 and even 20 years (see our Success Story Library)!
- I won’t be able to get to grips with new technology
When you’ve been out of the workforce for a few years there may be some catching up to do with technology, but it is important to remember that many companies recognise this. In fact, returner programmes are designed to ensure support is in in place to address any skills gaps. There are lots of ways to access free IT training (Women Returners Resource Signposts) in the run up to returning to work. You just need to start taking positive actions to develop your skills and build your confidence.
- It won’t be possible to juggle the needs of my family and work
The landscape of flexible working has changed more than ever in the past 2 years. Many employers have moved to hybrid working and are often prepared to offer a considerable degree of flexibility to their staff. These organisations will work with you to ensure you meet deadlines and commitments, while managing your home and family. Don’t be afraid to explore how the flexibility you need can match with the needs of the role and the business.
- No one will hire someone who has taken an extended career break
Many women who are thinking about returning to work after a considerable gap find that they’ve lost their previous level of professional confidence. However, companies are increasingly recognising and seeking out the maturity and diversity of perspective that women who return to work bring with them, alongside the wealth of skills, experience and qualifications gained before and during their break. They realise that these benefits are relevant, meaningful and add value in business settings.
- My skills and experience are no longer relevant
So many women assume their working skills become irrelevant after they have taken a break from their career. These skills are not lost! You will be surprised at how quickly you begin to remember them and how your break will have recharged, refreshed, and renewed your focus.
Don’t let false assumptions act as a barrier to your return. Instead be brave and start taking those first proactive steps to enable you to return to a fulfilling career.