Women who take career breaks often face a difficult time when trying to re-enter the workforce. Many employers are hesitant to hire women who have taken time off, and this often leads to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. However, the reality is that women who take career breaks can still thrive in their personal and professional lives.
There are multiple ways you can hone your skills, stay busy, and have a lasting impact as you look to get back into the workforce. Many of these opportunities, while time-consuming, can help be a resource and asset in the job search.
Volunteer Roles: Many non-profit organizations are always in need of volunteers, and women who have taken time off can bring a wealth of skills and experiences to the table. Volunteering is not only a way to give back to the community, but it also provides women with the opportunity to learn new skills, build their network, and boost their confidence. Moreover, the impact they make by volunteering can help them re-enter the workforce with a stronger resume and greater sense of purpose.
Leadership Roles: Another way women can thrive after career breaks is by taking on leadership roles. Women bring unique perspectives and skills to the table, and they can use their experiences and knowledge to help others. Whether it is by running for public office, serving on boards, or mentoring other women, women can make a real difference in their communities and beyond.
Supporting Other Women: Women who have taken career breaks can also support other women who are considering or undergoing similar experiences. By sharing their stories and offering advice, women can help others navigate the challenges of taking time off from work and re-entering the workforce. This can help break down the stigma surrounding career breaks and encourage more women to take the time they need to prioritize their well-being.
Women who take career breaks report higher levels of life satisfaction and well-being. Additionally, one study found that women who take career breaks are more likely to become leaders in their communities and workplaces, as they bring a unique perspective and skillset to the table. Plus research shows they can and do re-enter the workforce. A report by the Harvard Business Review found that 70% of women who took time off from work eventually returned to their careers. One company that has started to break the stigma is LinkedIn.
They are now offering a "career break" feature in user profiles giving all users the opportunity to account for time away from paid employment. This gives space to account for caregiving, maternity leave, and other breaks.
Women who have taken career breaks often come back to their careers with new insights, skills, and experiences that make them more valuable employees. So, let's break the stigma and highlight the many ways women make a difference after taking time off from work.