How To Get Past An Employment Gap
If you have not been employed for some time, you may be concerned about how you can get back into the work force. Many employers feel that it is risky to hire someone who has had a large gap in their work history.
More than ever before, companies are hiring employees who are highly qualified. If you have an employment gap which is larger than four years, competing against these people can be a great challenge. Before we go over some strategies you can use to deal with this, it is first important to understand the definition of an employment gap.
An employment gap is a period of time in which a person is not working for a company. These people tend to be educated, but may take time off work to raise their children. In fact, parents who choose to stay at home and care for their children make up the largest percentage of those who have employment gaps. Depending on the type of career you’re pursuing, having a gap which is longer than two years can severely hurt you. In the worst cases, people are not able to find work when they attempt to go back into the field.
Even if you can find work, you will probably get a salary which is greatly reduced. There are a number of things you can do to stay competitive even if you have to leave work to raise children or take care of other problems. Before you leave your current field, find out if there is any part-time work you can do which can allow you to spend more time with your family. An example of this could be consulting or freelance work. It may also be possible for you to perform temporary assignments during this time. If you work in human resources, you may be able to teach a class.
If your employer finds you to be valuable, they will be willing to work with you. Doing these things before you leave your job will allow you to stay competitive while you take care of personal matters at home. You won’t have to worry about coming back into the market after not working for years, because you would still be a part of the industry. Another strategy you will want to use is maintaining a network of colleagues. These people may become promoted or do other things while you are gone. If you maintain a strong relationship with them, they can assist you when you return to the market.
If your colleagues become managers while you are gone, they can put you in a prominent position when you return if you have build a strong bond with them. Another thing you will want to do is join professional organizations which are related to your field. Becoming a prominent member of these associations will allow you to thrive during your employment gap. If people know who you are, this could open up a large number of doors. You will also want to make sure your resume is constantly updated. Any new skills or awards you have attained which relate to your career field can be added.
If you keep your resume updated, employers will be impressed when you go back into the career field. Of all the things you will want to do, keeping your skills updated is extremely important. If you work in technical fields such as programming, an employment gap can destroy your career if you haven’t constantly updated your skills. Taking college classes during your employment gap is one of the best ways to keep your skills current. Certain industries change very rapidly. Because of this, it is important to make sure you’re not left behind..
Another thing you can do to stay fresh during your employment gap is to start your own business. Not only can starting your business bring you income, but it can also allow you to become highly skilled in areas which are specialized. Most employers like working with people who have their own businesses. If you are very successful, you may find that it isn’t necessary to return to your previous field. During your employment gap, it may be a good idea to change your career altogether.