Taking a break from your professional/working life so that you can fully dedicate yourself to your loved ones is an extremely noble and highly rewarding thing that you can opt to do – however, it can really take an immense toll on your career. Even though the times are evolving and there is a greater number of men choosing to step away from their jobs in order to be stay-at-home fathers, it is usually the women who take up the role of being the family’s primary caregiver and having to look after the tiny tots can involve having to take away many years from your office.
In a 2009 study carried out by the Center for Talent Innovation, nearly ½ of professional women deemed “highly qualified” voluntarily took a gap (which averaged 2.7 years) in order to help raise their kids or to look after the sick/elderly in their family. However, although their extended break was for noble causes, it certainly didn’t provide much help when they decided to return to the working life. This exact same study actually found out that only approximately 40% of these ladies who got surveyed were able to resume their respective careers full time again. The reason? Well, one of the major things to account for would be that a lot of job employers would take these extended breaks in your work history to be a loss of skill, knowledge and perhaps worse of all, a decrease in commitment due to external factors. So how does a woman of the 21st century avoid this? Well, I strongly suggest that you take a read…
Just Come Empty Handed
This is definitely one of the most common strategies women opt for to explain their extended break from their professional life. Usually employers are going to be less than impressed when a résumé states a smaller-scaled business as your most up-to-date position or when you have to refer to yourself as a mere ‘consultant’. Technically, this term is so broad that it can essentially hinder your chances rather than being helpful. Sometimes a CV isn’t the smartest way to go about snagging up a job offer, so don’t be afraid to tap on newer grounds by searching for different methods to try and impress your potential employer i.e. writing a pain letter.
Learning Something New
Between the breastfeeding and all the diaper changing, it is definitely a little hard to find spare time as a new mom to try and sign up for classes/online courses. However, if you can, this is something that would be considered really beneficial. Not only will it help in sharpening your skills, but it also showcases your top-notch initiative even though you were on leave to try and stay up-to-date on all the new trends that relates to your specific industry.
Simply because you have to be at home for the majority of your time, it doesn’t imply that you have lost your deep passion for your profession. Try making the most of your in-house situation by using LinkedIn’s Pulse to try reaching out on a global scale. In order to help close that extended break, simply insert the links that you create from each post to your LinkedIn résumé. You never now, perhaps your next interviewer will end up reading them!
So, how did you help to explain that extended break that you took due to family commitments when you finally decided to get back into the working life? What do you think? Do you believe that the parenting gap has to even be explained for?