How to Return to Work After a Career Break

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

Taking a career break is more frequent than you may believe. Everyone has different career steps; they climb at their own pace, depending on what their goals are in life.

So if you’re feeling uncertain about jumping back into the workforce after a career break, remember these tips to put you on the correct path with renewed confidence.

Evaluate your situation

Take some time to evaluate your situation first and determine what you want to do. Open your mind and remember, what was right for you before your career break, may not be what the best fit is for you now.

Update your Resume with your career break

Instead of seeing it as an impediment, see it as something positive that can distinguish you from other applicants. If you have not been working for a long time, don’t hide it. Add all the new skills you may have caught during your break, and explain how these can correlate to the job you’re now applying for. Plus, think about your career break. Did you learn a new skill, volunteer, or take classes? Even if you weren’t actively working, you might have unique accomplishments to consider during interviews or add to your Resume.

Re-Learn Your Industry

Spend some time examining companies and your industry. You may be particularly curious to find out the salary scale for positions that are of interest to you.


Reach out to your former colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Let them know that you’re seeking a new position.

Renew Your Skills

During your industry research, you may realize that there’s a whole new world of jargon. Freshen up your skills before you go out on interviews will help you feel more self-confident as a candidate. To update your skills, you can get volunteer work, classes and study newsletters, podcasts, etc.

Be prepared for your interview

Before you attend your first interview, make sure you’re ready to answer questions about your career break. You may be asked why you have a career gap and what you did with your time. No matter your reason, keep your explanation brief. You could tailor your responses to prove how your break will help the role you are now applying for.

Be confident

The most important thing is to remain confident in your abilities.


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