Looking to Bounce Back After a Career Break? Here’s How to Develop a ‘Comeback Mindset’

Returning to work after a break can be challenging, especially if there’s guilt or self-doubt in your mind. Here’s how to overcome these thoughts and make a strong comeback.

Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash
Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash

Are you looking to making a comeback to your industry after a break?

Are you nervous and not confident about getting opportunities you want?

Do you feel lost and/or confused?

Are you feeling guilty or regretting the break because you have lost connection with the industry?

Do you wonder if you are even good enough?

If you answered ‘yes’ to more than 1 of the above questions, let me be the angel of good news for you.

The best time to make a comeback is right now. The budgets for the next financial year are being frozen, and new positions would have been identified. Performance appraisals are starting and that’s where the movement of people happens in the industry. Recruiters are back-filling positions and identifying new roles they want people for.

You need to be ready to take full advantage of this period. Yes, the market is extremely competitive and the economy’s not too great. But companies still need good talent, and you need to be the one getting the attention. The question is how?

  • First and foremost, stop feeling sorry for the gap and accept it in your own mind first.
  • Be honest about the reasons—maternity, child care, parent care, education or even if it was just a break. It is okay to take a break. Your honesty is what will get you the credit points. Don’t over-explain your gap.
  • Make sure you are updated about the latest industry trends.
  • Make sure you have sound evidence of how you have used your break time to stay connected to the industry, whether through a course/certification or anything else.
  • You need to be clear on what you bring on the table and how can you contribute. Organisations look for talent and how you present yourself and your potential is what will matter. Let your work experience and your abilities be a highlight in your presentation/profile. Be clear about your strengths.
  • Be active and be seen – on LinkedIn, at professional events, meet-ups, and at all relevant professional platforms, online or offline.
  • Expand your network. Start connecting with new people and former colleagues who could help. 
  • Create a group of friends and professionals who uplift and empower you. Avoid toxic people or environments.
  • Look out for companies that have policies of hiring those who want to make a comeback, and start applying.
  • Get yourself a coach to help identify that ‘one thing’ that may be missing from the 100 other things you may already be doing, thereby accelerating your journey to success.

There are many possibilities out there. All you need is to be hopeful and prepared to put in the effort. Do whatever it takes to build a positive ‘comeback mindset’. There is nothing that can stop you, except for your own mindset.

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