Taking a break from your career can actually be a very productive time in your life. It allows you to relax, reset and decide on exactly what it is that you want from your career moving forward. You may have taken time off for R&R, to be with your family, or just didn’t feel aligned with that career at the time, whatever the motive, there’s no reason why you can’t easily get back to work and jumpstart your IT career.
Having said that, the world of IT can be fast-paced and a lot of things could change even if you take a short amount of time off. With that in mind, here’s how you can prepare for your return to work after taking an extended amount of time off.
Refresh your CV
If you’ve taken a lot of time off it might be time to work on your CV. Though employers are not meant to discriminate on your skillset/expertise based on any gaps in your CV, they may question why you took time off. So, you should be prepared to answer such questions. Alternatively, you could opt to build a skills-based CV rather than the traditional chronological CV. There are many benefits to having a skills-based CV and it may also help you to stand out from the crowd when recruiters are shortlisting candidates. You could also bring in an expert to review your CV, with some IT certification courses you even get this service included as part of the deal, so you can really stand out from your competitors.
Work on Your Knowledge/Skill Set
If you’ve not stayed up to date on the latest IT industry trends whilst you’ve been off, you’ll need to work on your knowledge and skillset to make sure that your knowledge is still relevant. If it’s been years since you last worked in IT, you might even want to consider getting IT Certified online. A general IT certification like CompTIA Fundamentals is a great way to cover the basics of everything. This is handy if you’ve previously worked in IT but never got certified. Alternatively, if you already have this certification under your belt but you know of a specialist field you want to get back into, you could look at getting certified in that. For example, a network security certification would be great if you’re looking for roles in cyber sec. You should also make sure that you’re keeping up-to-date with the latest IT news, you can set up a Google alert to help you with this.
There’s a famous saying out there that your network is your net worth and it’s so true. Networking gets you places in life you never thought you could get, so it’s always important to build the community around you, especially after having time off.
There are a bunch of ways that you can network. For example, you could look at seeking help from a business coach or a mentor who’s well known in the IT industry that could give you advice on the next steps of your career.
You should also reach out to peers and former colleagues, you never know where opportunity knocks and they might know of upcoming positions that they can recommend you for. Just by letting them know that you’re heading back to work, they’ll know to recommend you if they see any positions.
Finally, a great way of networking is by posting on social media. Platforms like LinkedIn are a great place to build authority in your niche. You can share articles and share your thoughts and opinions on the topic and start a discussion; this helps you to showcase that you really know your stuff.
And, on top of all of that, LinkedIn is a HUGE space for advertising jobs, with some 14 million positions advertised on the platform. It’s a great place for seeking opportunities in business.
We hope these tips help you to get back on the path of your dream IT career. Once you’re back on your feet you’ll find that a lot more doors will be opened up to you so that you can specialize in a field of IT that you love and embark on a rewarding journey.
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