Career breaks happen. Whether you’re a new parent, travelling the world, caring for a family member, facing barriers to find employment, looking after your health or have a personal situation arise, there are times when a long absence from work is unavoidable.
Long-term unemployment can wreak havoc on your sense of self-worth and wellbeing. However, many people return to work after long-term unemployment to find meaningful and sustainable roles in which they can thrive.
Just like Warren, who at 51 years old returned to work after 15 years of unemployment.
“Warren was nervous to start work. He had been unemployed for 15 years and was worried he would be too slow for his new employer,” said his Job Coach, Krish.
“However, his employer said they valued people who are confident, determined, and show initiative over skills and experience. They have since said how much they value how punctual and hardworking Warren is.”
Here are some tips from atWork Australia on how to prepare to re-enter the workforce.
Get mentally prepared
It’s important to set aside some time to mentally prepare yourself to re-enter the workforce. Confidence is important when you are interviewing for positions, so it’s good to spend the time focusing on yourself and ensuring you are work ready.
atWork Australia’s Wellness Services or Allied Health Services, our programs such as Positivum, and coaching from our Job Coaches, can help you become mentally prepared for work.
We know that finding a job is a completely different journey for everyone. That’s why atWork Australia provides a range of tools to support you to become ready for work.
Identify opportunities to expand your network such as attending networking events and going to industry-specific conferences where you can learn something new or meet others with similar interests. Building your network can expose you to individuals who may have insight on job opportunities or who are hiring managers looking for a new employee.
atWork Australia runs community style hubs to empower clients through choice. We connect you to training, education and local employers who are ready to hire. These networking events introduce you to our wider team including our Employer Engagement team who can connect you to employers.
Client, Hayleigh, was referred to atWork Australia’s Employer Engagement team, to tap into a broader network of employment opportunities.
The Employer Engagement team began advocating on Hayleigh’s behalf to a range of employers for various opportunities. Soon enough, Hayleigh was able to secure a position as a Retail Assistant. Read more about Hayleigh’s story here.
Search job boards
Searching job boards can help you get familiar with the types of work being advertised and learn more about the qualifications and tickets you might need.
Post-pandemic, flexible roles are becoming more common and are a good option for those returning to work who may want to work part-time or within school hours, for example.
Update your resume and apply for roles
Tailor your resume for the type of work and industry you want to work in. Ask yourself which work activities you enjoy most so you can concentrate on applying for positions that will support them, and that will provide a work environment you’ll enjoy.
When you are ready to apply, explaining gaps on your resume can be daunting. You can highlight your accomplishments during these times, and share skills you learnt that can be transferrable to the role you are applying for.
Client, Coral, for example, had many years off work caring for someone at the end of their life. She then used these skills to find meaningful work in the Aged Care sector.
You can also attend pre-employment training programs such as atWork Australia’s Jobs Now program which provides a space for you to create a brilliant resume, practice your interview skills and share tips and support with other clients.
Consider additional training
If you have been out of the workforce for a while, the main change you will notice is how fast technology has changed. Start with developing your digital literacy skills which will assist you in your job seeking journey, there are a range of services and platforms available which will support and enable you to build new skills and apply these to your work.
You could also consider a certificate in a course related to the positions you are applying for. This lets a hiring manager know you’re serious about the role and open to learning new things.
Stay positive and persistent
A point that may be easier said than done. However, finding the right employer is important if you are looking for long-term, meaningful, and sustainable employment.
Gaining an interview is a big achievement if you haven’t had one in a while, and it may take a few interviews to become more confident and to ensure you find the right fit for you.
Client, John, was put forward to a new position and was successful in the recruitment process. Unfortunately, John was not suited to this position, due to a toxic workplace culture.
John was not going to let one bad experience keep him from participating in the workforce. He was still keen and eager to find a new job. John started working with Job Coach, Peter, who, with support and encouragement, helped John find the right employer. Now, Peter has recently reached 13-weeks in a role he is thriving in.
Your atWork Australia team believes in you, so never give up.
Lean on your Job Coach
Having someone in your corner while you are job searching can make all the difference. With your Job Coach, you’ll develop a plan to get the right job with the right employer. Your Job Coach will help you determine your skills, experience and interests, and what you want to achieve in work and life. They’ll also help you build your confidence in yourself and your abilities, should you need it.
Many of our Job Coaches have been in similar situations to you, just like Job Coach Chris.
You can learn more about how atWork Australia has supported thousands into sustainable and meaningful work here atworkaustralia.com.au/success-stories/.
So, let’s help you find the right job, together. Learn more here or give us a call on 1300 080 856.