Returning to work

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Pure Professionals Limited is hereby licensed to operate an employment agency know as Pure Support Professionals.

Most people have to take time off from their careers, normally for family or health reasons. In the case of women, this is most often to start a family or raise young children. But there are also times when a parent or partner is ill, and requires full-time care.

However, sometimes the career break is caused by external events, such as we saw post-Lehman where a large number of executives were left jobless by the crisis. This is probably the most painful scenario, because of the sheer number of people looking for new jobs at the same time.

The break can be anywhere from a number of months, to a couple of years. Assuming your time off was a personal choice, and you are positioning yourself to return to work, there are several questions to keep in mind. Do you want to return to the same job in the same industry? Or is this an opportunity to investigate new areas? Many people do use a gap to think about new industries and new businesses, or if there is a structural contraction in your previous industry, it may happen that your previous job no longer exists.

We advocate honesty when addressing career breaks on the resume. However, we do not believe that this is an opportunity for employers to pay below market, which can happen if they believe that you are desperate to return to work.

To minimize the damage to compensation, it is important to remember, that every experience is valuable. Whether it is organizing events for your child’s school, fund raising for your alma mater, or recruiting carers for aging parents, all these activities require an attention to detail, ability to deliver projects on time, and working with a team. These skills are largely transferable to the work environment, and can be highlighted in a cover letter.

If you understand the value that you provide, the search for a new role and the transition back to the workforce will be much smoother. There are some companies that are more hospitable to returnees. However, when starting a search, we strongly recommend approaching your network. Colleagues who have worked with you and have had a positive experience can often be your best advocates.

Your Consultant at Pure will also have relationships with employers that recognize talent. Contact your Consultant and discuss your plans, whether it is returning to an industry that you are comfortable with, or if you are looking for a new challenge.