Career Consultants
Lost Direction After a Career Break?
Careers in Depth
Career Consultants
Lost Direction After a Career Break?
Careers in Depth

Are you considering a return to the working world after a career break and feeling a little uncertain? You’re not alone.Many professionals experience fear or uncertainty when looking to re-enter their working lives.

There are many different reasons why people take career breaks – all of which are valid and often highly worthwhile.Perhaps you’re a mother who took a sabbatical from your career to raise your children, organise their daily lives and develop opportunities for them. Maybe you’re a recent traveller who took a career break in order to see the world. Or perhaps you decided to step away from your professional life for a while to focus on a passion project, your health or another area of interest. Whatever the reason for taking a career break, when the time comes for you to think about making a return, you’re likely to feel unsure of a few things.

If you’re feeling lost after a pause in your career, you may be experiencing some of the following:

Lost touch of your ‘work persona’

Particularly common in mothers, many people feel disconnected and out of touch with their ‘work persona’ after a career break. Many women, even highly qualified ones, find that they lose touch with their professional identity when they become mothers.

During a career break, you step out of the corporate world and away from daily scenarios that call for your working self to take the lead. This more ‘professional’ side may not be needed at all during your time off. When it’s time to return to work, you might feel unsure of yourself as a working professional and be more in tune with the persona you’ve worn during your break – whether that be caring, motherly role or that of an adventurous, risk-taking traveller.

Uncertainty around which career path or job

When thinking of resuming a career, the most obvious route might seem to be to return to the path you were previously on. However, you might be feeling uncertain about this route. It is quite possible that you feel that the person you have evolved into during your break has different needs and interests to the person you were before. Perhaps your return to the working world has you considering new career options or different jobs to what you were doing previously.

Not being sure of which path you’d like to take can be frustrating and overwhelming, leaving you feeling directionless and without a way forward.

Fear of changed work practices

Depending on how long your career break has been and which industry you are in, it’s likely that the working world has changed and developed in new ways since your last engagement. You may feel that your knowledge is outdated, or your skills aren’t matched to modern practices.

In today’s digital era, the working world is changing at a rapid pace and many professionals feel they will be out of touch with processes and ways of working upon their return.

Concern around transition

Regardless of how you have been spending your time during your career break, the transition back to the world of employment might seem tough. For mothers who have been spending their time caring for their children, the transition will involve spending less time at home with your family. If you’ve been travelling and living a low-routine lifestyle, returning to the world of work may require a transition from freedom and flexibility to a more structured environment.

The transition from a sabbatical to a resumed career can be daunting and many feel concerned about managing this change.

Not sure how to move forward

Even ignoring the uncertainty and fears mentioned above, you may just be unsure of how to re-enter the working world or where to start. If you aren’t returning to a previous position, how do you go about finding a new job? How should you explain the gap in your CV?

Resuming your career after a break can be quite a process to navigate and requires an action plan to get you back to being an engaged employee.

Finding your direction

It’s easy to feel like you’ve lost direction and during this stage, it is important to recognise your concerns and realise that it is okay to be feeling this way. There are many actions you can take to regain your confidence and successfully engage in a career again.

At Careers in Depth, we have a unique approach for helping people through this transition and supporting professionals as they resume their careers. By exploring with you your individual scenario, we can begin working through and overcoming the barriers and blocks to you re-engaging with your work. Our experienced career consultants can help you examine your strengths and areas that need further development while also helping you gain a better understanding of the current work environment.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you plan steps towards developing your career again, book a free phone consultation with us. We’d love to hear about your current situation and see how we can support your journey.


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