Career / General

How to Stay Relevant While on a Career Break

Life is a roller coaster ride, especially when one is on a career break. Apart from dealing with the major challenge of being a mom, one has many more challenges to face during a career break. It is not just about competing with others but competing with oneself. The question is what it takes to get back, be updated or learn something about the field we are interested in.
One often comes across many women who are on a career break. While many moms are happy to stay at home to take care of kids, there are others who do want to get back into the workforce. The scenarios may vary and so would the reactions. Everyone tries to handle the situation in the best possible manner. There are times when circumstances do not allow one to get back to work or depression seeps in. The question is either to live with it or look for a solution as soon as possible. Justice has to be done to oneself and family. It becomes necessary here to identify and address few things at a time. List them down to get a clarity. Here are three essential tips for staying relevant

1. Time-Management:

The first and foremost thing to take care is time management. Everything starts flowing smoothly once time is managed properly. Time simply slips out and cannot be brought back. To manage it requires swift planning, balancing, prioritizing and a lot more. When it comes to be a stay-at-home mom, one not only has to take care of kids but also manage the house chores, balance time between kids, family members and oneself. Prioritizing the tasks in hand helps a lot. By prioritizing, one does not aim to handle all the jobs in the same order. Classification of jobs as must, not important, can be postponed, assigned or scrapped will lessen the burden.  Once the work is classified, it can be done on a priority basis. We all can be more productive if we learn to say no when we have to. For example, the time wasted on phone calls and unexpected visitors can be planned more cautiously. Dedicating time-frame to a work, without sailing in two boats helps one to be more efficient. To ease it a bit, one is not answerable to everyone and everything. You are your boss and manager too and already have the expertise to handle the time. Step into your shoes and get going. After all, it is all about how one enjoys doing what one does in the specific time period. Getting over with planning and prioritizing, it is time to peep into your skill sets.

2. Working on Skill Set:

We all possess valuable skills that have worth in the job market. While staying at home, one only needs to squeeze out time and work on their skill set. These skill-set can be re-visited, learned and put into efficient use. For example, if one’s skill set is teaching, Part time job is an excellent option. It is great if one manages to take out few hours daily or weekly. This will surely strengthen and channelize the energy to work.  

Another good option can be Volunteering to work in the field that suits ones’ skill set. This is how the skill-set is re-visited. While volunteering, one not only contributes but learns a lot too while gaining experience. More than that, sharing work experience keeps the morale high and also benefits others. One may not get paid or get only a token amount. This opportunity for sure will pay in your future aspects.

Earning a higher degree in ones’ subject is also a terrific option. Get enrolled in a course or look for online learning sites. Enhancing your skill set will definitely help in your career progression. The first step should be to identify or figure out the needs. Identify what you really enjoy while staying competent. Analyse, how much knowledge and ability you possess at present and what all needs to be worked on to perform the required job. Begin with setting small goals. Accomplishing small goals becomes easier when done systematically. This will also build more confidence and give a bigger picture of what one wants to achieve. Tools and techniques help in efficient handling of your skill-set. If required, get a hands-on experience.  

3. Stay Connected:

Opting to be a stay-at-home mom and being outside the workforce does not stop one from staying connected. Stay connected with friends who are working. They can guide you on how to get back to the working mode while being at home. In-fact, they can flood number of options and be the best advisors. Social media has presented many options to get connected. Use LinkedIn to stay connected to the professional world. Other options can be WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter to name some. It is  good to connect friends/colleagues through calls, emails, attend professional meetups if one can or talk over a cup of coffee. This live connection can help in getting into the workforce somewhere in the near future. Staying connected also keeps you updated. Awareness about what all is going in the industry or field is an add on.

Remember, you are the driving force behind what all you want to achieve. It is all up there in your mind. You only need to gear up systematically.