Has an extended career break depressed you? Do you worry about how to attend an interview in the future and secure a well-paid job? Do you lack confidence, or are you bothered about how you would perform and be competent with more updated and aggressive colleagues?
A career break is a hard time for all of us. However, the real issue starts when you plan to get back into a job.
Suppose you are trying to get back into a job, especially in the tech industry, after a break in your career. In that case, upskilling yourself is the only gateway to making yourself more valuable in the job market. You can attend multiple seminars, webinars, live discussions, networking events, internships, or even study some online courses.
When you learn new skills and technologies, you can increase your value and knowledge, upskill yourself as a candidate, and improve your chances of getting back into a job. So, it is high time to consider investing in your professional development by upskilling yourself.
Read more to gain insights on returning to a job after a career break.
Research the current job market to understand the trending technology skills and well-paid job roles. It can help you decide the areas to focus on and upskill yourself, increasing your chances of getting jobs after a career break.
The tech industry is constantly evolving, and staying current with the latest technologies and trends is essential to remain competitive in the job market. So be aware of the trends to make informed decisions about your career before you get back into a job.
Stay up-to-date on job roles, descriptions, and soft and hard skills required to make yourself competitive in the industry and adjust your career plans accordingly.
Current Skill Assessment
Assess your current skills and knowledge to determine whether you need to shift your career to new fields or focus on upskilling. Start by listing all the skills you have acquired throughout your career. It might include technical skills, for example, programming languages and software development, and soft skills, such as communication and problem-solving.
As mentioned before, consider your career goals and the types of roles you are interested in. Then, research the job market to identify the most demanding skills and knowledge required to perform the role better.
Once you have identified the most relevant skills and added them to your career goals, evaluate your knowledge and experience in these areas. Ask these questions –
- Are there any technologies or skills you need to acquire to get into this job?
- How would you remain competitive in the job market?
- How do you upskill your knowledge and skills?
Once you have identified your problems and requirements, start looking for opportunities to learn and develop these skills. It might involve taking online courses, attending workshops or conferences, or seeking out mentorship or other forms of professional development.
Identify the necessary support and resources to take your aspiration to the next level.
- Take advantage of mentoring programs or networking opportunities.
Many websites and platforms offer online courses in various tech-related topics, including programming, data analysis, and cybersecurity. Some popular options include Udemy, Coursera, and edX.
- Consider attending a technical Bootcamp.
If you’re looking for a more intensive learning experience, these programs offer intensive, immersive training in a specific area of tech and can often be completed quickly.
- Rely on online study materials
Many online self-study resources include books, tutorials, and video lectures. Some popular options include Khan Academy, Codecademy, and Pluralsight.
- Internships or apprenticeships
Another option is to seek out internships or apprenticeships in tech companies. These programs can provide hands-on experience and allow you to apply your new skills professionally.
Many tech companies and organizations offer mentoring programs for returning to the workforce after a career break. These programs can provide guidance and support as you get back into your job in the tech industry.
- Professional organizations, mainly the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), offer members a range of resources and support, including networking opportunities, educational events, and job boards.
- Utilize online communities such as forums, groups, and social media platforms to connect with other professionals in the tech industry.
- Leverage your network and reach out to friends, family, and former colleagues for support and guidance.
All these can help you with job opportunities or deliver valuable advice and resources.
Regularly assess your progress and adjust your plan to get back into a job after a career break.
- Set specific goals and milestones.
Determine what you want to achieve and create a plan to get there. It could be learning a specific programming language, completing a certification, or building a project. Setting goals will aid you in staying motivated and on track, and you can measure your progress by checking off milestones as you complete them.
- Keep a learning journal to record your progress and challenges as you learn new skills.
It will let you reflect on what you’ve learned and identify areas where you need to focus more attention.
- Ask for feedback from peers, mentors, or colleagues on your progress.
It will help you better understand how you’re doing and where you need to improve.
- Attempt tests, quizzes, or exams.
Many online courses or learning resources offer practice tests or quizzes to help you gauge your understanding of the material. It can be helpful to assess your progress and identify the areas where you may need to focus more.
- Join online communities or forums related to the tech skills you’re learning.
It can allow you to ask questions, get feedback, and see how you compare to others who are also learning the same skills.
Showcase your new skills and knowledge to potential employers through your resume and online profiles.
- Update your resume. Include any new skills or certifications you’ve acquired on your resume. Be specific about what you learned and how it can be applied in a professional setting.
If you’ve completed any projects or assignments related to your new skills, consider adding them to your resume or creating a separate portfolio to showcase your work. It can help demonstrate your practical application of the skills you’ve learned.
- Use relevant keywords
When updating your resume and online profiles, use relevant keywords that reflect the skills and technologies you’ve learned. Keywords make your resume more searchable and increase potential employers’ chances of it being noticed.
- Create an online presence for yourself.
Consider setting up a professional website or creating profiles on social media or professional networking platforms (for example, LinkedIn) to showcase your skills and experience.
These can help you connect with potential employers and demonstrate your expertise. Be bold and discuss your achievements and new skills in job interviews or networking events. It will demonstrate your dedication to staying current and growing professionally.
Here is a simple plan you can follow to upskill yourself:
1. Identify the technology or skill you want to learn: Let’s say you want to learn Python programming.
2. Research learning resources: You decide to take an online course to learn Python. You research various options and decide on a course that fits your schedule and budget.
3. Create a learning plan: You create a plan that includes the following elements:
- Set a specific goal for what you want to achieve, such as completing the online course and earning a certification.
- Establish a schedule for when you will study, such as 2 hours per day, 5 days per week.
- Identify any resources or support you may need, such as a tutor or study group.
- Break your goal into smaller milestones, such as completing a certain number of weekly lessons or exercises.
4. Begin learning: You start working through the online course, following your schedule, and tracking your progress.
5. Practice and apply your new skills: In addition to completing the course, you set aside time each week to practice what you have learned by completing coding challenges or building small projects. You also consider seeking out internships or part-time work to gain real-world experience.
Breaking into tech after a career break to get back into a job can be a challenging but rewarding experience.
By identifying your goals, updating your technical skills, building a solid portfolio, networking with professionals in the field, and taking advantage of available resources and support, you can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this dynamic and rapidly evolving industry.
Be on the lookout for companies like Nintriva that willingly offer training and job opportunities to people looking to get back into their job in tech. It may take time and effort, but with dedication and perseverance, you can successfully transition into a tech career and make a meaningful contribution to the industry.