Mind the gap!
So you have taken a year out or even a longer break from your career and now you have decided you would like to return to the workplace? You look at your CV and not sure were to start?
When we take career breaks for any reason it can make us a little nervous as to how we explain our breaks/gaps and also we fear the markets have moved on without us.
Presentation and a clear explanation of your skills and being able to demonstrate these well in previous posts are key. Being able provide concise detail as to exactly what you have done will give the employer more interest and grab their attention.
Your CV should flow placing your skills and experience in an interesting order so that the employer takes you into consideration for the role. With the turbulent market we have experienced since 2008, it is actually quite common for candidates to have breaks on their CV, so it’s not really unheard of. A good CV must be based on skills rather than being presented in a chronological order.
So this is a good place to start when giving your CV a complete makeover. Gather a list of all the skills you have acquired since leaving education, through your career and whilst taking a break.
You may have offered some volunteering, advisory, freelance, charity, school/baby group support work. You may have even started your own blog/website? These are skills and can be translated onto your CV.
Order them concisely and you will be surprised perhaps that you have acquired skills without realising?
Getting back to the workplace can leave you feeling daunted and you may be lacking confidence, but taking a step back and again creating a plan of action can be the first steps back.
Can you offer some advisory/consultancy work for free perhaps amongst local businesses where your skills may fit? If you haven’t created a Linked-in profile make this a priority. Have a think about the types of businesses you would like to work for and see if there would be ways you could work with them? Connect with all of your previous colleagues who witnessed your dedication and experience. Start networking and share with them your interest of returning to the workplace and what you can do?
By looking at your list of skills, you may shape a role, which you didn’t necessarily do previously but can give you the insight to work towards. Talk to friends and again previous colleagues to gather information and tips to help you along.
As well as reading jobs adverts, focus on a few specialist website/agencies who can help you and give you some advice.
A recent YouGov survey discovered that older workers between the ages of 45 and 54 feel that families with children receive preferential treatment when it comes to flexible working applications. The survey commissioned over 1000 people found that just over 25% of employees between this age ground felt that flexible working requests are provided firstly to parents with children.
The findings raise concerns as the government had plans to introduce flexible working for all to reduce hours, however in the recent Queen's speech, there was no mention.
The frustration found amongst this age group is due to the raised hope of them creating a better work-life balance as they prolong their careers. There is concern that this government may have decided to shelve such a benefit.
Flexible working is seen as a real positive for working families, however an extension to other groups within any organisation should be considered. Such policies can't be implemented overnight. Businesses need to observe where they can accommodate polices which benefit all.
Did you know it is National Work Wise Week? A group behind this, Work Wise UK have pushed this initiative forward yesterday for 2012. They are urging managers across the UK to get behind this campaign and make sure their professional practices are embracing flexibility.
Businesses across the UK are being asked to take a closer look at their working practices/polices as our business environment evolves into the 21st century. Flexibility being key on the agenda.
A study carried out by Virgin Media Business found that 60% of employees will begin to work from home over the next decade.
When asked 62% of professionals suggested that biggest plus to working from home is not having to endure the commute. The group Work Wise think that more businesses should consider the wider benefits of flexible working.
Philip Flaxton, chief executive of the organisation, commented: "The trick for employers is being flexible enough to adapt to their workforce. By doing this, they can make sure they maximise the potential
Businesses who are working towards a more flexible workforce with “ad-hoc” home working are building a more positive workforce.
A study carried out by AWA – Advances Workplace Associates discovered that allowing staff to work from home reduces sickness and absenteeism. Surprisingly it is also found to improve morale and productivity.
This is positive news as it demonstrates that forward thinking companies in these economic times are embracing flexible working and moving with the times.
There are a number of businesses who are promoting their flexible work policies and are leading the way. Some of these include; Unilever, Aviva, GlaxosmithKline and Nationwide.
Even though this promotes positive attitude and productivity it is equally important that clear policies and guidelines are given to ensure successful usage of home working to ensure it is not abused.
What a refreshing article I have just read…
According to the Telework Association “A new generation of green conscious workers is pushing for more flexible working measures”. Interesting?
If we have to wait for this government to make changes which lets face it, may take some time, then it is reassuring to hear our younger generation are contributing to a much needed cause.
Telework Association made this comment after CBI/Harvey Nash Employment Trends Survey showed that 96% of employers offer at least one form of flexible working. These flexible working options included part time working, flexi and term time working and job sharing. Would be great if businesses embraced all of them!
The organisation suggests that the younger generation deemed commuting as an “arduous” and “outdated habit”!
Peter Thomson, Director of Research at the Telework Association goes on to say, “This is a generation who are green conscious, who are taught environmental studies at school, and are quite rightly saying ‘Hang on – you, my parents’ generation, have polluted the planet. I’d like to do something about it, and let’s start with all this stupid travel that we’re doing’,”.
We live in hope…..