To all the stay-at-home moms, to all the housewives and to those ladies who have taken a career break for reasons of their own: getting your career back on track or returning to a job after years is a tough task and you have a lot to catch up on. All this while you have been engaged in chores of the house and the thought of being financially independent like before seems like a long lost dream. There is no guarantee for success. However, you must pursue your passion and try to win the job you deserve. You will face a lot of challenges on your way to the goal. But don’t worry, you are a woman of grit and can overcome these challenges easily.
- Low Confidence: Your confidence would take you to the zenith of your career, but unfortunately, this is the time when your confidence is most probably at its lowest. A good way to avoid this situation is to start early i.e. prepare yourself mentally beforehand. It means utilizing your free time for some classes like public speaking, learning a new language or any other course. The main aim here is to interact with new people while you learn something new which, if possible, should be connected to your field. This won’t take much of your time and will gradually boost your confidence. Start gaining confidence on a small scale and you are good to face the bigger challenges.
- Missing out on new skills: When you quit your job, spend a few years as a homemaker and glance casually at where your field is at…BAM! Everything has changed. Latest technology, new ideas and a modern outlook. Some of it might be easy to catch up on. But the recruiters prefer people who already possess the knowledge of the latest developments. In this case, you’d need to be aware of all the recent developments related to your area of work. All you need to do is stay in touch with people or your previous colleagues who are currently engaged in the occupation you are interested in. Enquire about the latest developments, type of work, requirement of new skills etc. from time to time. If there is anything new to be learnt, you can seek help from your friends and get acquainted with it. That way you will always stay updated.
- Resume and Interview: This is the trickiest part of the process of getting back to work. A well-written resume and a perfect interview will land you on your desired job. But it is highly likely that the recruiters would be reluctant to accept you because of your former break. The key is to stay honest in your resume and confident in your interview. Do not try to cover up the period of your break by mentioning activities totally unrelated to your job. Instead convey your sincere interest in the job and how you stayed updated on the new skills and latest developments. Do not display embarrassment regarding your break during the interview.
- Less Salary: Women who return back to their jobs after a career break are paid less in comparison to others holding the same position with similar experience. This is because they may be biased against such women, falsely thinking that they are not fully up to the mark for the job, owing to the gap in the career. You can’t change this mindset in a jiffy. It will take time for people to realize that women like you are no less than other employers. To tackle this situation, you can perform the tasks delegated to you to the best of your capability (which means working better than your co-workers) and prove that you can work as well as others. Then you can politely speak to the authorities about this issue and try to clear any misunderstanding they have about your performance.
- Home Management: As you join your new job, you will be expected to juggle work and home with equal efficiency. To succeed in both the areas, you need to begin early. During your career break, make sure you involve all of your family members in the household work. Make them accustomed to your absence by joining a hobby class, for instance, which will keep you away from home for a couple of hours. That way you are preparing yourself as well as the family to cope up with the situation. Or maybe just hire a maid if that’s possible.
As stated before, finding a job after being a homemaker for years is not piece of cake. Relentless efforts and patience are needed on your part to get back to work. Disappointment and failures may meet you on your path to success, but remember “Do not stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.”
You may also want to read other articles written by the same author: ‘Fun alternatives for ladies on career break‘, ‘Bridging the gap using online resources‘, ‘Stress: Lets deal with it‘, ‘No Matter what the world says, It is ok to… live your life‘, ‘A little guide to positivity‘ ‘Ways to Selfmotivation- Your key to success’, ‘Why you need to prioritise yourself‘
About the author:
“Radhika works as a visiting lecturer at the University of Mumbai. She completed her B.A. and M.A (Gold medal) in Sanskrit from the Mumbai University. She has a passion for languages especially English, Sanskrit, and German and has written articles on Upanishads. She provides content development services. She likes teaching and writing. Her hobbies include reading and listening to music.”
(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)
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