It is quite possible to have a break in employment in one’s career span. Many people get worried as they are unable to give a satisfactory answer to the recruiter and I am often asked that what is the best answer or they ask me how to find job after a long gap.
Possible reasons for employment gap
Our Career Development tools for you:
Before we go further on the subject, consider a few real life examples. Mira graduated as an Engineer from a good university and started her career as a software engineer. Working sincerely and intelligently, she made good progress and in 5 years time she became Project Manager with her second employer. That is the time, when she decided to get married. This was followed by her motherhood and it was after a gap of 4 years that she decided to get into the corporate world again only to face more rejections and excuses by the recruiters.
The next case is of Mike Khanna who did MBA from one of the top business schools and after doing well for 10 years in the marketing of FMCG products he started his own company with a partner. While his intentions were good and he worked sincerely but unfortunately his partner left him all of sudden and migrated to USA. Mike was not prepared for this. His entrepreneurship venture failed and he is now struggling to find a job even at a salary lesser than the figure he was drawing last but he is facing disappointments.
The third case is of Joseph who had a successful career of 20 years in supply chain with a Japanese consumer durables company. Suddenly the company decides to cut costs by downsizing in the face of stiff competition from the Korean and Chinese manufacturers and Joseph lost his job along with 100 others. Though qualified engineer and MBA, Joseph is a disheartened man as he is unemployed for the last few months and the recruiters in the corporate world seemingly do not have a suitable job for him.
Why it is difficult to find Job after a long Gap
Problems arise when a person goes back to the job market after a gap in employment. Over a period of time circumstances, technology, processes change. The job profile, organisation structure, and working styles in the industry as well as the company – all undergo a radical change. Even the education or professional courses being offered the education institute change as per the need of the industry and the economic conditions on the national / regional level. Some industries shift. Hence the job search becomes more challenging and competitive than ever. Also read: Reasons Why your Resume is not getting shortlisted
How to Find Job after a Long Gap
It is not a crime nor is it avoidable to get married, go on a maternity leave, take a break for starting own business or lose the job if the company or the industry is not doing well. There can be any number of such things. Agreed that going back to the job market can be an overwhelming, scary experience, but definitely something can be done about it.
Here are a few useful tips for job seekers seeking employment after a long gap:
1. Employability Assessment
Even if you are entering the job market after a gap of one or two years, you should not presume that the economic conditions (for employment) as well as the industry conditions (for skill set requirements etc.) are same at the time of your leaving the industry.
Therefore, it is better to be informed and prepared accordingly before you begin the job search. Spare considerable time and investment to do self-evaluation. Assess that as an executive, where do you stand? What do you have to offer to the prospective employers now? Why do you want to go back to the same industry? Do you stand a better chance of employment with another industry?
Since it must have been a while you worked for some organisation, check how has the industry changed? Figure out what new skills can make you a competitive applicant and which ones are irrelevant or outdated now.
You don’t have to be too hard on yourself, but facing the reality is the key.
2. Acquire relevant skills
Technology is continuously changing and that too fast. Besides technology, the consumer tastes and preferences are changing, the methods of doing business and conducting banking and financial transactions too undergo change very fast.
Even if you belong to traditional hospitality industry, food industry or garments manufacturing industry you’d wise to accept that the modern technology has invaded there too. Hence after doing step 1 thoroughly, find out the unique expertise or technical skills you need to quickly acquire. Check out the institute or the university which can equip you with the certificate or diploma and also teach you thoroughly. Do some research and find out what combination suits you the best as per the current industry standards, and how they give you an edge with your existing experience so that you can create a competitive advantage for you in the job hunt.
3. Rebuild your CV and start a new job search methodology
Beginning with your CV or resume, you’ll need to rebuild your job hunt tool kit. Look at your portfolio, personal website, linked profile and even your professional wardrobe.
Maybe some things are still good, but you’ll find that you need to completely re-haul others. Therefore, it is always a good idea to take the help of Professional CV Maker, Interview Coach and Career Counselor. Also do not hesitate to take the help of your old friends and the contacts who are still in employment in the industry. Their tips shall be invaluable too.
Also please refer to: Reasons Why You should get a Professional Resume Writer
Gone are the days when the method of finding the job was to look into the newspaper ads or apply on the websites of the company. That was the time when the hiring process was simple and regimented. Thanks to the technology, this process has loosened considerably. A lot of hiring is done through social media such as LinkedIn. Also the HR managers hire through the referral method to connect with the friends and ex-colleagues of their existing employees. So do connect directly as well as digitally with important people in your industry for advice, reference and leads about job opportunities in their knowledge.
If you haven’t joined or updated your social media profiles, then we suggest that you be active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or the top discussion board forums for your profession. Make connections with recruiters in your industry to make a successful entry in the job market. Join a conversation and you could be talking to your next boss!
If shyness is your problem, then please refer to: Personality Development Tips to Overcome Shyness and Gain Self Confidence
5. Be seen as an active person in the industry
To fill the unemployment gap, it may be a good idea to show yourself as an expert in the field as a guest speaker / writing engagements / freelance consultant. Be a speaker in seminars on the subjects of relevance to once again build a strong reputation. This can earn you some money and also get you credibility. Of course, this is one of the important methods of networking to get you back into job employment or some contract engagements. Please see: Best Freelance Writing Sites To Get A Job
To Sum Up
Whether it is USA, India, UK, Singapore or Australia etc., such problems are common and so is the solution. While the tips given above are more of suggestions to make yourself more employable and hone your search methodology, don’t expect overnight results. Of course, you’ll lucky to get a call sooner than expected. Therefore, you should not get disheartened and rather you should be determined and persistent in your efforts.
All the best!
Did you like this article? Please do share with your friends. Also do give your comments / suggestions and experiences below in the box.
Other useful articles:
- How Safe is Your Job
- Common interview mistakes CEO aspirants make and how to avoid them
- Soft Skills which can help you move ahead in career
- How to Make a Good First Impression at Job Interview
About the Author
Sundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.
In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.
The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.