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The latest advice and best practices in hiring and careers.

How to Successfully Re-Enter the Workforce After Extended Time Off

workforce re-entry tips Every year, thousands of people return to the workforce after extended time off. They could have taken a work break for a number of reasons – to be a stay-at-home parent, to serve in the armed services or to take care of a personal or medical issue. Some might be interested in jumping right back into the same kind of work they did before taking their hiatus. Others might be ready to pursue an entirely differently career path than they previously had. Whichever path they’re on, there are lots of things people can do to ready themselves for their return to the working world.

Pick a Focus
Career coach Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli says the first step to re-entering the workforce after a long absence is to choose a focus. Decide what type of work you want to do. Civitelli says job hunting without a clear focus is 10x harder to do and 1/10 as effective. Choose your focus based on your personal interests, strengths, values and personality. Do you like working with people? Working independently? Crunching numbers? Being creative? If you’re having troubling choosing your job path, consider working with a staffing agency. Many offer temporary/contract work opportunities and temp-to-hire opportunities that let you ‘test drive’ certain jobs or industries before you commit to a certain one for the long term. 

Brush Up
Depending how long you’ve been away from the workforce, you might need to brush up on certain knowledge. iRelaunch, a company that offers training and career re-entry programs for individuals returning to the workforce, says getting back up to speed in your field of interest is important and gives you confidence to get back out there and find employment. Connect with experts in your field to find out what the top trends are and how to best stay in-the-know about recent industry happenings. 

Join Professional Groups
iRelaunch shares that you can’t re-start your career from behind a computer at home. Online research and online job submissions is just one small part of an effective job search.

Joining a professional organization in your field or attending key industry events is a great way to network, to learn more about your field and to find out about job opportunities.

Joining a professional organization in your field or attending key industry events is a great way to network, to learn more about your field and to find out about job opportunities.

Volunteer
Volunteering can play a big role in your work re-entry efforts. It allows you to explore new fields and interests and opens the door to meeting new people and making new connections, both personally and professionally. Your volunteer experience is something that should go on your resume – especially if it’s related to the field that you’re pursuing work in.

Spread the Word
Don’t underestimate the power that your personal connections can have in helping you relaunch your career. Let everyone know about your plans to re-enter the workforce – extended family, friends, neighbors and former classmates and colleagues. Ask them to keep you in mind for any work opportunities they hear about.

If you know what career path you’re ready to go down, check out some of A.R. Mazzotta’s current job opportunities. If you know you’re ready to re-enter the workforce but are unsure of the type of work you want, contact us and speak with one of our recruiting professionals. They’ll help you explore your career options and add focus to your job search.

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