If you are an experienced learning and development professional who is looking to re-enter the workforce and are in search of ways to make your transition easier, we have got you covered.
While the prospect of going back to work can be overwhelming, having a strategic and well-thought-out plan can truly make a difference. This article highlights some essential tips for L&D leaders to confidently return to the job market and utilize their extensive knowledge and skills to make a positive impact.
Know Your Worth
The first thing you want to do is search for learning and development salary ranges and average pay in different sectors to get a good idea of what to expect. This can give you a fairly grounded understanding of the market to help you assess the worth of your specialist skills and subsequently negotiate your salary with your potential employers.
Knowing your worth is also important because it is possible that you may be offered a lesser package due to a career break. In this situation, your research into the market averages can be an asset as it will help you logically bargain with your interviewees to secure a decent remuneration package.
Build A Narrative
It is essential that you have a good story to tell your interview panel regarding why you want to return to the job market and what skills you will bring to the table. Think of your career break story as an impactful narrative or even an elevator pitch designed to both inspire and persuade potential employers to consider you for the role.
Start by highlighting your top career achievements and segway into why you decided to take some time off. You should ideally mention any activities or achievements during this time and how you can leverage those transferable skills to make you a better employee. Conclude with why you have decided to rejoin the workplace and the kind of opportunities you are interested in pursuing.
Focus On Your Strengths
When preparing for your interview, it is important that you identify the various skills, strengths, and experiences that you have gained over the years and back them up with real-life situations so that you can easily demonstrate them to the panel.
The best way to do this is to jot down some common and expected interview questions and practice answering them in mock interview sessions. For each answer, focus on bringing the conversation to your strengths and experience using the STAR method. This will not only give your answer a logical flow but will appropriately signal the relevant competencies you have for the position you are applying for.
Reach Out To Your Network
One of the best ways to explore opportunities and secure interviews is to reconnect with colleagues and professionals in your field and ask them about current vacancies. Many people are open to connecting with like-minded professionals and will be happy to respond to your message to help out.
For instance, if you are using LinkedIn, start by posting that you are open to work and looking for opportunities and would appreciate any leads. You could also expand your network by following industry professionals and talent acquisition leads on social media and keeping an eye out on their daily activity regarding potential vacancies and opportunities. Additionally, you may also want to explore online job boards that have a list of the latest open vacancies in your area.
Remember to be polite and respectful when you approach people. After all, they are taking out time from their busy schedule to help you out.
Considering that your resume is the first thing that recruiters will view, it is crucial that you make a good and lasting impression. In order to tailor your resume to reflect your career break, you can include a section highlighting the period in which you were not in the formal job market and indicate with a few pointers what you did during that period.
When revising your resume, make sure you format it professionally and stay consistent in your font and margins. Second, focus on quantifying your achievements and use action verbs to demonstrate your achievements. Lastly, stick to a basic layout highlighting your education, work experience, skills, and contact information.
Returning to the workforce to find your ideal job role may not be easy, but it surely is rewarding. While the process has its ups and downs, it is important that you stay both patient and resilient. With continuous perseverance, a positive can-do attitude, and a strategic game plan modeled on the above-mentioned tips, you can be hopeful of securing the job of your dreams in no time.