How to get back to the Market after a long career hiatus

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Carol Fishman Cohen - Photo by John Werner

Getting back to the market after a long career pause is a real challenge. This return can be even more complex in the current scenario, with so many changes taking place so quickly in many areas.

To guide professionals who are going through this situation and help companies who want to hire candidates with this profile, we talked to Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO of iRelaunch, a consultancy firms that specializes in professional outplacement. Her TED-Talk has over 1.6 million views.

In an exclusive interview to the Foursales journalism team, Carol talks about the main difficulties that professionals face when they are getting back to the market and points out to a few ways to overcome this challenge.

Carol Fishman Cohen
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Rebuilding your confidence to return to the market after a long career pause

Dedicating exclusively to their children still is one of the main reasons many professionals choose to take a career pause. Taking care of family members, treat personal health issues and taking a sabbatical to pursue personal interests are other reasons that make people take a break for a while.

Whatever the reasons are, getting back to the market always presents the same challenges. According to Carol, among the main obstacles faced by these professionals she highlights:

  • Understanding what you want to do.
  • Renovating your self-confidence.
  • Reactivating your professional network.
  • Update your skills according to your area of work.

The specialist detailed us what actions helps relaunchers(this is what she calls the professionals who are relaunching their careers) get back to the market. Check them out next!

1- Understand what you want to do

While you were away, many thinks on the market changed. Maybe your interests have no connection to the segment you previously chose to work on. Before looking for opportunities in your previous area, evaluate what you really want to do.

2 – Get back in contact with your professional network.

After some time without working, maybe you don’t see yourself as a professional anymore – maybe you see yourself as a mother, father, etc. In this sense, it is important that you get back in contact with your professional network. Carol explains that these people have a “frozen view” of your image as a “professional” and this can help you relaunch your career and to regain your confidence.

3- Practice your speech to regain your confidence

Another way to build your confidence is to practice how you will describe your professional background. “It doesn’t matter if you are talking to a wall, a phone or to your partner. Practicing your speech will make it flow in a more natural way and your confidence will grow” she advices.

4 – Make your comeback public

You need to make your career comeback as public as possible. “It’s important to leave your house and speak publicly about your search for a new job. This way, you will make connections that at the end will lead you to new opportunities.” Advices Carol.

5 – Update

Many things might have changed since you stopped working. So looking for update courses is fundamental to relocate on the market. This means you should look into online and live courses, going to events and so on. This practice must be part of your life from now on.

What you should do if you are thinking about taking a break

If you are thinking about taking a break, there are a few advices you can follow to make your return to the job market a bit easier.

According to Carol, if you want to stay competitive during your time away, you should:

  • Identify and follow the main specialists of your area – Following their websites, blogs, podcasts, books, social media and content.
  • Keep in contact with your old colleagues, this will keep you up-to-date with the new products, concepts, trends and market changes.
  • Review the fundamental practices and knowledge of your field that have not changed in a while. “For instance, the fundamentals of financial risk analysis are the same for a long time, what changed were the tools and technologies used in this kind of task.
  • Join your professional association, participate in events organized by your professional association to keep up-to-date and expand your networking.

 

Carol Fishman Cohen - Photo by John Werner
Photo by John Werner

Mistakes you want to avoid during your outplacement

After understanding what needs to be done, it is also important to know what you should avoid in your return to the market. Carol indicates the three most common mistakes professionals do in this case:

1) They start developing their curriculum and have interviews without first evaluating their personal relation to their career path and their current professional profile.

2) They do not invest time to learn and become a specialist in their field once again.

3) They start sending applications online without leaving home and finding new people and establishing new contacts.

“Do not take for granted that you will be back to the same position you were before. Maybe you choose to return to the same area, but you might also decide to choose something related to your previous field or start in a completely new path.” She points out.

Carol tells us that, based on her experience at iRelaunch, there are people who paused their career for and others who haven’t worked in over 20 years.

“Success in returning to work has less to do with age or number of years out of the workforce. The biggest factors in a successful relaunch are getting clarity on one’s career goals and being relentless about going after them,” she comments.

Now we want to hear from you:

  1. Are you trying to return to your career?
  2. What are the main challenges you are facing?
  3. Do you have any tip to share with people who are trying to get back to the market?

Share your story.

We hope these informations might help you understand better your path to return to the job market!

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