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Returning to Work

Have you been out of work for an extended period of time? Whatever the reason for this decision (i.e. taking care of family, pursuing further education, living abroad, prolonged illness etc.) you will soon realize that life has moved on while you were away. The success you achieve after returning to your career is dependent not only on your field of expertise, but chiefly on you.

In areas such as IT or telecommunications, one year – or even a few months – is enough to loose track of new developments within the industry. In accounting, finance and law you can encounter entirely new legislation or regulations, along with new accounting software or accounting and tax procedures, even after just a year’s absence.

Even if you were working in a less specialized field or at a managerial position, you can be surprised by the changes that have occurred. Management techniques, changing market conditions or a new company strategy are only a few of the things that may have changed while you were away.

If you want return to work successfully, you must not underestimate the importance of field research.

Here are several questions that may help you regain your bearings:

  • What direction has your profession moved in recently? 
  • Is your area of expertise expected to undergo any changes in the near future? 
  • How has technology and legislation changed in your field? 
  • What does your current or potential employer need from someone like yourself? 
  • Can you meet those needs? 
  • Do you need to re-qualify or deepen your knowledge of your field? 
  • Are you able to prepare yourself to satisfy the requirements and needs of a potential employer?

Going back to work without assessing the current market situation as well as your own knowledge and abilities is a very large risk that might not benefit you in the slightest.

Give yourself time to prepare for anything that might influence your chances of finding a new job. This is an investment that will determine your ultimate success. For resources, you can look to former colleagues, professional organizations, the Internet and industry publications.