Returning to work after a long absence due to an illness, disease or medical condition can be really tough. You finally get used to staying home and not worrying about clocking in and out and then suddenly you’re right back in the mix with more work than ever before. Not to mention, once you’ve been out of work for a while due to medical reasons it might be hard to keep working like you did before. If you’ve been out for an especially long time, you could even come back to work to find out that many things have changed without you even knowing! Bottom line, if you’ve been out of work for a while, there are a few things you can do to help prepare yourself for the difficult task of finally going back after you’re finally able to recover from your medical hiatus.
Hit the Books — Take the GRE!
One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself to go back to work after an extended absence is to take the GRE or a certification class! Taking classes to get certified or taking the GRE to get yourself ready for graduate school are two very good ways to make sure that you are on the top of your field and that you are aware of the newest trends and advances in your field. It’s good to relax while you’re out of work, but make sure you’re staying up to date with the latest information at the same time.
If you want to take the GRE before you go back to work, you can take a GRE prep course to help you feel prepared to ace your exam! If you do well, you can earn placement at a top-notch graduate school to bolster your resumé and gain skills and knowledge to make you an even better worker.
Update Your CV
Just because you haven’t been working doesn’t mean you shouldn’t update your CV! Your CV should be kept up to date with all of your latest accomplishments, work experiences and skills. Keeping your CV filled with the most recent information can help you land a job by helping you come across as professional, organized and skilled.
Your CV should also try to stick largely to the truth. Many people will lie in their CV to help them come across as a more credible, viable candidate for a job. Avoid lies in your CV so that you don’t get caught trying to oversell yourself. Honesty looks way better to your interviewer than elaborate lies about skills that you may or may not have at all. Not to mention, by not lying you can save yourself the embarrassment of being asked to use a program or complete a task that you have no idea how to perform.
Consider Your Options
When returning back to work after an extended period of time, you may have your sights set on a particular job or career path. Right now, though, the job market isn’t quite what it used to be so you might run into some difficulty looking for your dream job.
Instead of focusing on just one job that you’d like to have, consider all of your options and you can even consider a new field or industry altogether! Just because you aren’t landing your dream job right away doesn’t mean you won’t find success and happiness in a different career path. Besides, if you end up not liking your new job, you always have the opportunity to look for a new one. It’s never too late to find a new job that you’re happy with in your field.
Network — Tell everyone about your job hunt!
This is one of the most important parts about heading back to work after an extended absence. Tell everyone you possibly can about your job hunt! You never know who might have heard of some high-level executive opening at a company you’d like to work for, or who might even be hiring somebody themselves. It’s important that a lot of people are aware of your job hunt so that you can get as much recent, word-of-mouth information about the job market as you can.
Don’t hide your employment gap!
Employers will catch on right away if you try to hide your employment gap from them. Instead of lying about it or trying to cover it up, use it to your advantage! Tell your potential new employer that during your employment gap, you used your new free time to work on and improve your skills, took classes, volunteered and worked on broadening your skillset.
Prepare for an Interview
The most dreaded part about returning to work and finding a new job is the interview. You can find so many sources online that tell you the best ways to ace your interview but a lot of them have conflicting information that could leave you feeling more worried for your interview than you were before!
Many of the steps listed above, like updating your CV and the advice about hiding your employment gap, are good advice for preparing for an interview as well. Above all, make sure that you can establish a personal connection with your interviewer and that you avoid lying to them. Interviewers are people too, and as much as we may dread going to an interview, your interviewer is not out to ruin your day and make you uncomfortable. Connect with them and treat your interview like a conversation; you need to be an active participant in the interview, rather than just sitting and answering the interviewer’s questions.
Going back to work is hard, but now you can go back with confidence knowing that you can be prepared for just about anything! Take advantage of your time away from work to improve your skills or learn new ones so that by the time you’re ready for your interview, you can blow the interviewer away and get hired on the spot. By the time you go back to work, you’ll be even better than you were before.
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