The most important dilemma faced by a woman today who wants to get back to work, is where to start from. Do you want to get back to where you left off or begin anew? I believe it is always good to start with an end in mind, to have a goal to chase. So how can you tackle your career tracking while on a break?
Where to begin?
Start with asking yourselves, what you want to do next? Is it the same role you would like to grow in or explore a new career? The advantage of a career break is that it gives you immense time to think of what you truly love to do and to chalk out your priorities, both personal and professional before you are ready to get back into the saddle. Basically, define a goal, an end you want to achieve.
How to develop a career track?
Define your Goals:
Once you have your goal defined, the next step is to assess your existing skills and the skills you need to acquire in order to successfully achieve your goal. This will help you to find out the skill gaps and determine a list to work on. It could mean you will need to start from the bottom, in case of a new career option or exert yourself to pick up from where you left off.
Skill enhancement techniques:
You can work to acquire those skills through online tutorials, coaching, speaking to industry experts or colleagues. However, this means being completely honest with yourself and putting yourself out there. Being open to feedbacks, setbacks and go on a self-improvement journey is important. Use the time from your career break to enhance your skills and be industry ready.
Write down your goals and plans:
The best way to ensure that you do not fall off the wagon is to pen down your career track and plan. Break it down to things to do weekly, monthly and on-going. Make sure you assess them from time to time and ask for help when needed. Writing down your goals is essential to achieve them.
Examples of Career Tracking:
It is important to know where you want to start off at and where you want to be in your professional career as you prepare to get back. These are some of the examples to help understand career track or path better:
Engineering: Junior Engineer – Senior Engineer – Team Lead – Project Manager – Management roles
Human Resources and Administration: Recruiter/Human Resource Associate – Senior Recruiter/ Senior Human Resources – Manager, Recruitment/ Manager, Human Resource Specialist – Director Human Resource.
How to achieve your goals while on a break:
Find yourselves a Mentor: They are industry experts, currently employed in similar roles as you wish to work in. Mentors provide helpful insights, prepare you for the challenges in the real world and help you to acquire the right skills.
Build a network of professionals: In today’s social media rage, no one is really unreachable. Platforms like LinkedIn can be used for professional networking so be a part of online communities of interest. This will also help you to find a job when you are ready.
Be Prepared: One can never be too ready to jump back into the professional world. There are many constraints both psychological and professional. One way to tackle this can be to keep yourself in touch with your industry, skills and be well-informed about it. You can also try taking on small freelance projects or pro-bono work to appraise your skills and standing in the market. This way when you get back to work, you are not lagging in the information, challenges, and opportunities in your field.
It is understandable that not all career breaks will allow you sufficient time to be an expert in career tracking, but invest some time weekly to evaluate your career path, to decide the level you would like to enter back into the market (beginner or senior) and also keeping your goal, where you want to reach right in front of you the whole time. A career break does not have to stop your career track. You can beat it by following the above tips.
About the author:
The first time Susan Kutar (Tamang) realized that words could touch lives, she wanted to be a writer and blogger. She has 7 years of experience in Human Resources and Talent Acquisition. She likes to write about topics that impact people, which is educational and leaves the reader with something to mull over.
(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)
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