Taking a career break has become rather common in recent years. If you are now looking to return to work, we have compiled a few tips to make that return as smooth as possible.

Where to start after taking a career break

Oftentimes, people are worried they may have ruined their careers by taking a hiatus. This can be a scare tactic from companies to stop their best workers from leaving but is not in fact the case.

You didn’t stop working for an extended period because you couldn’t be bothered working, it was for a certain purpose. Behind the growing monoliths of large corporates are real people who understand that we are all humans. Furthermore, good recruiters understand that taking a career break comes with its benefits.

As long as you are sure of certain aspects to your break and return, you will have nothing to worry about.

Be sure of your next steps

Employers know when someone isn’t fully interested in the role they are applying for. So, make sure you are sure it is the right time to return and that the role you are trying to return to is right for you. If you left because you didn’t enjoy your career, it’s not a good idea to try to go back to it.

However, if you know you wanted to leave to achieve something, such as spend time with your children while they were young, and that you have now achieved that, it can be positive. Showing certainty and determination to follow your life aspirations and achieving them will only demonstrate to the employer that you only commit to a situation when it is right for you.

As such, demonstrating that you are certain a return to work is right for you could be a major positive for your application and your chances of entering your dream career.

Explain your reason

The large career gap on your CV can seem daunting. However, don’t shy away from it, explain what you were doing and why.

Employers are human and understand that there are other things in life that need addressing. Having the confidence to take that step could give you more credit than other candidates.

However, you should prepare an answer, as employers will ask about it. This doesn’t mean that it is definitely a negative, but it will be if you can’t explain your reason for leaving.

What did you learn?

It might seem it at first glance but taking a career break is not necessarily detrimental to your career. You will have learnt a significant number of skills that you didn’t have before, even if that is something like treating your mental health.

If you can think of a handful of skills, characteristics and experiences that you acquired from your career hiatus that you wouldn’t have got from staying in work, you are on to a winner.

Finding work

For help to find employment after a lengthy period out of work, we have created a number of guides to help get you back on your feet.

For external advice, funding or training see our support and resources page. For guidance on today’s job market and what employers are looking for, see our job application tips. If you haven’t written an application in some time, get help with our CV tips and template.