How to successfully leap back into the workforce after a leave of absence

Rashi Arora Khosla
Founder and CEO at MARS Solutions Group

Relaunching your career after a leave of absence can be a daunting and challenging task. Employers frown on a gap in work history, whether it be to raise a family, take care of a loved one, or handle other personal matters. To help expedite the process of getting back into the workforce, we’ve put together these tips:

1. Skills Development
Maintaining and improving upon your skillset, especially in the technology industry, is crucial to reentering the workforce. Staying up-to-date on trends shows you are interested, and are able to hit the ground running.

There are multiple ways to get up to speed, such as finding training opportunities or other corporate led or independent programs aimed at technology skills and immersion. You can also seek out an internship, job shadowing opportunity, or study independently.

2. Professional Development
Next is to work on presenting yourself and highlighting your skills and accomplishments. Seek out a mentor or a coach to give you feedback on your presentation. If you’re unsure of where to look, start by searching LinkedIn for connections that may be willing to help.

Ask your connections to help you develop and tweak your resume to make sure it is current and accurate. Practice interviewing and other interpersonal skills with them to make sure you feel ready to present yourself favorably.

3. Network Development
Making strategic connections can help you immensely in your job search, such as meeting your next mentor, coworker, or even boss. Ask friends and look online for organizations relevant to your industry and find out what type of events they are hosting. Look on event websites such as Meetup or Eventbrite to find relevant events. When you attend events, try to connect with new people and start a conversation. Exchange business cards and follow-up with an email or a LinkedIn connection request and message. Use online groups and chats through sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Slack to connect with others virtually.

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