Discover 10 smart strategies for returning to the workforce after a career break for women. Explore actionable strategies for organizations to create a supportive environment and gain insights into tips for a successful return, including building support networks, updating professional appearances, and obtaining certifications.
In the dynamic landscape of the contemporary workforce, a noticeable trend is emerging – a growing number of women are choosing to return to work after a career break. This shift reflects changing societal norms and underscores the need for strategic approaches to facilitate a smooth transition. In this article, we will explore the significance of having women in the workforce, discuss actionable initiatives for organizations to support women returning to work, and provide a practical roadmap for individuals, including tips on finding support networks, updating professional appearances, and obtaining relevant certifications.
The Importance Of Having Women On Your Team
Having a diverse workforce is not just a buzzword; it’s a necessity. Women bring unique perspectives, problem-solving skills, and creativity to the table. Organizations that prioritize gender diversity often experience increased innovation and improved decision-making processes. As women return to the workforce, companies must recognize and leverage the value they bring to the team.
Five Things Organizations Can Do To Bring Women Back Into The Workforce
Organizations play a pivotal role in creating a conducive environment for women returning to work. From flexible work arrangements to mentorship programs, these strategies can make the transition smoother for returning professionals.
Flexible Work Arrangements:
Flexible work arrangements, such as part-time schedules, remote work, or flexible hours, can help create a welcoming atmosphere at organizations. By acknowledging the diverse needs of employees, especially women managing work and family responsibilities, companies can support them in seamlessly reintegrating into the workforce.
Example Scenario: Imagine a working mother who, after a career break, is eager to return to her professional life. A company that offers flexible work arrangements allows her to balance her work commitments with family responsibilities, making the transition back to work more manageable.
Comprehensive Returnship Programs:
Returnship programs are structured initiatives for professionals returning to work after a hiatus. They include mentorship, training, and gradual integration into the work environment. These programs support returning women in rebuilding confidence and skills.
Example Scenario: A woman returning to work after a few years finds solace in a returnship program. The structured nature of the program allows her to ease back into the professional environment, gain updated skills, and build a network of supportive colleagues.
Mentorship and Support Networks:
Mentorship programs and support networks can help returning professionals. Pairing them with mentors creates guidance and emotional support during reintegration.
Example Scenario: An experienced professional, having successfully returned to work after a career break, becomes a mentor for a woman re-entering the workforce. The mentor provides insights, shares experiences, and offers valuable advice, making the transition smoother.
Skill Enhancement Programs:
Companies can provide skills enhancement programs for women returning to work, including workshops, online courses, or on-the-job training. This shows a commitment to their professional development.
Example Scenario: A woman returning to a tech-centric role benefits from a company-sponsored coding workshop. This refreshes her coding skills and ensures she is up-to-date with industry trends.
Inclusive Company Culture:
Creating an inclusive company culture is crucial to retaining and attracting women returning to work. This involves valuing diversity, promoting equal opportunities, addressing biases, and celebrating women’s strengths.
Example Scenario: An organization firmly committed to diversity and inclusion ensures returning women feel valued and appreciated. This inclusive culture encourages them to contribute their skills and ideas without fear of prejudice.
10 Tips to Get Back to Work after a Career Break
Understanding the Landscape
Women who want to re-enter the job market must keep up with current workplace trends and skills in demand. Understanding the dynamic job market and what employers are looking for is essential. By doing so, women can increase their chances of success.
Assessing Your Skills and Interests
Assessing the skills gained during a career break, identifying areas of interest, and aligning them with available job opportunities is crucial for self-reflection during the return-to-work journey for women.
Updating Your Skill Set
Upskilling is essential for professional growth. Those on a career break should never stop learning. Many options are available for updating one’s skill set with free online courses and certifications.
Building a Strong Professional Network
Networking is crucial for career growth. It helps build valuable connections, provides mentorship opportunities, and opens doors to resources and guidance.
Crafting an Effective Resume
To write a good resume after a career break, highlight transferable skills, tailor it for specific applications, emphasize acquired skills, and quantify achievements. Choose a clean, professional format for a concise resume.
Navigating the Interview Process
Mastering the interview process is essential for a successful return to work. Gain practical tips for confident preparation, addressing career gaps, and highlighting your value. Craft compelling responses that showcase your skills and experience, emphasizing how they align with the job requirements. Practice common interview questions, focusing on articulating your unique contributions. Leverage your professional journey, emphasizing growth and adaptability, to leave a lasting positive impression on prospective employers and stand out during this critical phase of your professional re-entry.
Balancing Work and Personal Life
Striking a balance between professional and personal responsibilities is a universal concern. To achieve this, prioritize tasks, allocate specific time blocks for work and personal commitments, set clear boundaries, delegate tasks when possible, leverage technology for organization, take regular breaks, communicate openly with work and family, and prioritize self-care. These practical tips ensure a seamless return to the workforce while maintaining a harmonious integration of work and personal life.
Building a Supportive Network
Returning to the workforce after a career break can be challenging, and having a supportive network is crucial. Find your tribe – like-minded individuals who can provide advice, share experiences, and offer emotional support. This tribe can consist of friends, colleagues, or individuals facing similar professional journeys.
Update Your Wardrobe:
While skills and experience are paramount, how one presents themselves also plays a role in professional confidence. Suggest that women returning to work consider updating their wardrobe to align with the current professional standards in their industry. This doesn’t mean an entire wardrobe overhaul but rather making strategic additions to enhance confidence and make a positive impression.
Show You’re Serious with a Certification:
Certifications can be powerful tools for showcasing commitment to professional growth. Recommend that women returning to work consider pursuing relevant certifications to update their skills and demonstrate their dedication to staying current in their field. Highlight specific certifications like Glow and Lovely online courses and the MARS Certification, tailored for women looking to re-enter the workforce.
Real-life Success Stories
Let’s look at some inspiring success stories of women who achieved the impossible with hard work and dedication. Mittali, a Delhiite balancing teaching and full-time jobs, faced burnout with lengthy commutes. Glow and Lovely career guidance and MARS offered a lifeline with remote work, transforming her life. Now, she juggles studies, enjoys family time, and cooks healthy meals while gaining financial independence. Mittali’s story is a testament to MARS reshaping careers and fostering work-life balance.
Trushika left traditional media for better opportunities with Glow and Lovely Career’s guidance, finding a niche in writing. Uninspired by reporting, she discovered her love for the unnoticed through blogging. Introduced to MARS via a friend’s sister on SHEROES, Trushika values the program for its virtual engagement and positive recognition, breaking the work-from-home invisibility. Interacting with diverse communities transformed her socially, enhancing her professional and personal interpersonal skills.
If Mittali and Trushika did, so can you…
With Glow and Lovely careers, you can access:
- Free career guidance on 61 roles in 10 major industries
- 300+ world-class online courses
- Professional Resume Builder
Join the Glow and Lovely Careers community for career guidance. Consider applying for the MARS certification, specifically designed to support women returning to the workforce and starting work from home. Let 2024 be your year of growth and new beginnings.
Your journey to success begins now!