If you’ve been away from the workforce to attend to your loved one as their full-time carer, the thought of re-entering the workforce can be daunting. We have met several carers who, after several years of being away from work, lack the confidence and sometimes the skills to pick up where they left off in their careers.
As a carer, you may be in a position to resume your career after several months or even years; perhaps the person you are caring for has passed away or moved into a care home, or even recovered, giving you the opportunity to get back into work.
Where do I begin? is the question we get asked most when we work with carers re-entering the workforce?
Step 1 is to assess your job wants and needs. Ask yourself if you were happy with your previous career and is it something you want to continue. This is a good time to reflect on whether you were happy in your previous career or you’d like a change in direction. Often, after a break or an emotional journey, your life goals and perspectives might undergo a change, resulting in a need to alter your career goals as well.
If you find that you are happy with your previous career and wish to resume it, you might need to re-acquaint yourself with the industry. Chances are that things have changed since you were away. We would suggest you reconnect with your network; get in touch with previous colleagues and previous employers. Attend industry conferences and events to understand how things are and how they’ve changed.
Talk to people… this sounds simple, but word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways to secure a job. Let people know that you are in a position to resume your career, especially people in the same industry as you. But talk to everyone, because there is always someone who may know someone who may be looking for your skills.
Whether you choose to remain in the same career as before or you choose to move to something entirely different, you will need to refresh your skills or retrain. The speed with which technology is moving means that even if you have been away from the workforce for a few months, you will need a refresher course. If you have been away for several years, you will need some sort of upskilling to avoid feeling out of touch.
In addition to taking classes or training courses, you might even consider volunteering in the field you are interested in to understand what’s involved, where you need to re-skill and whether it’s the kind of career you want to be in.
Once you have decided your career path and learned the necessary skills needed to secure a role, you need to do what we call the “job search essentials.” This includes:
- Updating your CV – we can help you with that through our CV-writing workshops
- Brush up on your interview skills – Please sign up for our interview tips workshop
- Contact recruitment agencies that specialise in your field
- Look for career returner programmes in your field. These programmes are usually related to large organisations as part of their HR policies and are designed to support people re-entering the workforce.
At Working for Carers, we understand the apprehensions and reservations you may have about re-entering the workforce after a break. Many of the carers we have helped secure a job have lacked the confidence and know-how to move forward. That’s exactly what we are here for; to provide a helping hand and support system to empower you to take the next step.
Please give us a call on 0208 868 5224 so that we can help you get back to work.