5 Tips For Getting Back Into Work After An Extended Absence

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A lot of people choose to take an extended break from working, and there can be various reasons, from caring for a loved one to becoming a stay-at-home parent to travelling.

Whatever factors went into your decision to take a break, returning to work can feel like a challenge, and it can be an incredibly daunting process. However, by taking the right steps to prepare yourself, you can make the transition easier. Read on to learn more. 

Start by Volunteering

Heading straight back into full-time employment after a long break can constitute a big drain on you emotionally and physically. This is why it might be better for some people to ease themselves in by volunteering. Taking on some volunteer work can be beneficial; it allows you to refresh your skills, get used to going back out to work, and you might even be able to do some networking and use what you have learnt from your volunteer position on your CV. 

Build Your Portfolio with Freelance Work

Depending on your qualifications and interests, you might be able to offer your skills and services on a freelance basis. Think about what you have to offer. By choosing to do freelance work, you can dictate how often you work and what you charge. It can be a great way to get back into the swing of things while also building your portfolio that you can use to get a full-time position in the future. There are many sites out there that you can use to offer your expertise; use the internet to find the best one for you and what you have to offer. 

Invest in Your Own Abilities

If you are concerned that your skills are a little outdated, or if you want to pivot into a different industry or role when you return to work, it might be worth taking the time to shore up your CV. This might mean taking an online course or two; you can build up your knowledge base, refresh your skills and gain vital experience. Gaining new skills and knowledge in a topic that relates to the industry you want to work in shows employers that you are serious; it also helps bridge the gap between your last role and applying for new jobs.

Work on Your Transferable Skills

There are a lot of skills that you can take with you across a variety of different jobs. In fact, in some cases, your soft skills might just be what sets you apart from the other candidates. While you are preparing to re-enter the workforce, you should do your best to work on soft skills like creativity, communication, adaptability and time management. Think of instances that demonstrate these qualities that you can use in job interviews; try to relate these examples back to the job, too, if you can.

Start at the Bottom

It can be difficult to re-enter the workforce at the same level that you left it at, especially after a long break. It might be easier to set your sights lower initially. Try finding an entry-level position that you can use to support yourself and boost your CV while you search for a position that you believe yourself to be qualified and ready for.


Getting back to work after an extended amount of time off can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It is all in how you prepare yourself. Remember to keep your skills relevant, up-to-date, and persist – eventually, you will find something.

About author

Poppy loves personal finance almost as much as she loves her two cats, Tif and Taz.
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