Me: Are you sure Rita? Do you really intend to get back to a work routine after that long hiatus?
Rita: Well, why not! If ever our maker intended anyone to be a multi-tasker, it was a woman. I think I am as ready as I ever will be.
So true. Unlike the yesteryears, when working women were generally doctors or teachers, women of today are leaving their indelible mark in every profession. But, more often than not, one sees a break in the career progression of women and it can be for myriad reasons, though the main one still remains family obligations. And unlike the yesteryears when only a handful of women could make a successful comeback in their chosen profession, the world today is witnessing a paradigm shift with more and more women successfully donning the professional garb after a longish gap.
Although this trend is more prevalent in the USA and the European countries, Asian countries are also joining the bandwagon. And women, in these countries especially, can use mentoring to prepare themselves for the realities of today’s work environment. How can they make a smooth transition to being a working woman from a hitherto different status? At Kowrk, we believe in women empowerment and keep our doors open to women looking to make a comeback. Based on our experiences, here are a few aspects to make a mental note of if you are rejoining workforce after a gap of few years.
Honing of skills
The first aspect to remember is that a longish break from work makes ones skills somewhat obsolete. There is a need to brush up on those skills and equip yourself suitably to re-enter the workspace. Make sure you redraft your resume to keep it more contemporary. You will not be starting from where you had left and may need to prove yourself like everyone else.
To join or not to join a Startup
Though easier to find a job at, Startups are probably not the best place for a woman making a professional comeback. There are long working hours, expectations to deliver and a dynamic schedule which can take a toll on a woman who might have to juggle between her home and office.
Remain true to your calling
At this stage, you must take stock of your strengths. Ensure that you pursue your interest and do not decide to go in for a change of profession just because it might be easier to get a job in some other field. E.g social media marketing may not probably be for you if you don’t know or believe in using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. However, if you have a knack for writing then it makes sense to learn more about content writing.
Keep your communication channels open
Openly discuss your special requirements (e.g. need for flexible timings) upfront with your boss or HR (preferably after a successful interview). People will understand and work with you as long as you communicate. Although at this juncture it is important to understand that you won’t be receiving any special treatment in terms of work expectations and deliverables just because you are making a comeback. This will be an uphill journey in the beginning and so be ready for challenges.
Finding your workspace
A woman doesn’t have to necessarily join an organization. There is a lot of opportunity for those wanting to work remotely. If you find yourself no longer comfortable working in a typical office, you could possibly turn your home into your office or join a coworking space near you. The demand for professional freelancers is seeing a boom and now is the time to make the most of it.
Re-entering the work scenario calls for reinventing yourself. The process, rather than daunting, can be fun and you might discover hitherto dormant aspects of your personality. For any woman wanting to make a comeback, the one thing she needs to have oodles of is confidence…the confidence to be herself!