I need help to return to work after a career break

Returning to work after a long career break is never easy. Whatever your reason for taking time off, whether it’s due to redundancy, long-term illness, caring for someone for several years or you've taken time off to go travelling – it can be hard to feel confident about picking up where you left off.

You may feel like you need some help to rediscover your working self. Inspira can offer you practical advice and support, to refocus and return to the working world with courage and determination.

Be focused and work out what you want from your next job.

As you start to make plans to get back into work, think carefully about what you want in your next role. Depending on the reasons for your career break, now could be a good time to start something new. If you feel the job you were doing before was a contributing factor in your decision to have a career break, then now’s the time to look for other options.

Don’t forget to think about practical details, such as whether you need the option of flexible working or part-time hours and whether location matters.

  • Assess your skills gaps

Once you know what you’d like to do, you’ll need to determine whether you have the right skills. Now might be a good time to refresh your skills or build on existing ones.

It’s worth taking the time to do your research, such as looking at job adverts to find out what skills potential employers are looking for and working out what you need to prioritise.

  • Find relevant training courses

It’s important to think about ways you can become a more attractive candidate to employers.

Whether you want to update your existing knowledge or learn some new skills, there are more learning options now than ever. We can help you develop new skills by finding suitable online courses, workshops or pre-employment programmes.

  • Make a plan

Set some time aside to plan out what actions you need to take to get your next role. It’s OK if you’re not sure what action you need to take. You may have your ideal job in mind but if you don’t that’s also OK.

Start by thinking about what kind of job you’d like to do, and we can help you plan the rest. Make sure your plan includes actions that are realistic. A few small wins will give you the momentum to see it through and help keep your positive outlook.

Together we can set some goals and make a personal step-by-step plan of how you can achieve your career goals - whether that’s getting your next job or making a career change.

There are more and more companies in the UK now seeing the benefits of offering returner programmes, particularly for women returning after time off caring for children. We are seeing more flexible working opportunities available all the time.

Planning your next career move

  • Build your online profile

Building up a strong and professional profile on social media can help you in many ways.

LinkedIn in particular is the perfect place to learn more about the career you’re interested in. You can connect with people in your chosen industry and comment and like articles and posts. if you’re being active online then so much the better. Remember any employer who receives your CV is likely to also check your profiles online so make sure they are equally impressive – up to date and professional.

How to find a job online.

  • Look for a volunteering role

A voluntary role could be a fantastic way to further your skills and grow your network whilst giving something back. Being in a routine and ‘work’ environment will be a good motivator and help to keep your confidence levels up.

How volunteering can improve your chances of getting a job

  • Use your network

Reach out to people you know, friends and former colleagues. Letting people know you’re looking for work could lead to a few introductions or even some job opportunities.

Your network is also a good place to find support and advice which can make all the difference in your planned return to work.

  • Update your CV

Your CV needs to be clear and relevant for the job you are applying for. You should always tailor your CV to each role if you can. State succinctly the reasons for your career break and if you have done something relevant in your time off such as an online course or volunteering, make sure you add it in.

How to get your CV noticed

  • Practice makes perfect

Once you make it to the interview stage, you may start to feel anxious especially if you’ve had a long break.

It’s a good idea to rehearse your reasons for taking a career break, explaining why you’re now ready to return to work.

Our careers advisers are experts in interview techniques and can give you all the latest interview tips and advice on dealing with even the trickiest of interview questions.

  • Seek advice and support

With a plan of action and some support from the friendly team at Inspira, you will soon be on the right track. Talk to us about how we can help you get back into work – our video shows you the range of support we offer.

From an initial assessment, Inspira works with individuals to explore their strengths and weaknesses, create a Skills Action Plan, and develop a pathway to help them secure a role.

Here are some examples of things we can do together:

  • Help you with decisions and planning to explore the best route back to work.
  • Help you review your skills and abilities, including the soft skills and experience you will have picked up throughout your career break.
  • Improve your CV and interview skills.
  • Refer you to other organisations and useful events.
  • Help to get you back into the work habit.
  • Build your confidence and resilience.
  • Enable you to make the best use of the resources available to you.
  • Explore funding for courses.
  • Help you update professional qualifications.
  • Introduce you to potential employers.

Read Lucia’s story who was looking for a new, rewarding role in Workington.

Get in touch below to be connected to an Inspira Adviser for free 1:1 personalised support to kickstart your career after a break.

Let us help you Be Bold, Be Resilient, and Be Relevant.

To book a free 1:1 appointment with one of our advisors - email, call us or use our form and we will arrange an online or phone appointment with you.

⮞ Call us on 0345 658 8647

⮞ Email us at info@inspira.org.uk

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