If you’re coming to the conclusion of a career break and wish to return to your career (or establish a new one), the following practices can facilitate a smoother transition:
Let others know
Go beyond networking to let everyone in your circles (family, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues) know that you are actively looking for work and welcome referrals and recommendations. The more people who know, the greater your chances of finding fresh leads, insights, and ideas.
Conduct informational interviews
Return to your roots and remember to conduct interviews that may not (or probably will not) lead to a job, but can lead to greater understanding of the broader industry and/or specific companies or functions.
Address concerns up front about your ability to stay current in both technology and in industry trends and developments. Your up-to-date knowledge and skills not only assure potential employers, but increase your confidence.
Highlight related experiences
Look beyond your career-related experiences to other areas – in family, community, hobbies and interests, and more – that demonstrate your ability to apply valuable business skills, like analytics, operational acumen, and strategic thinking, to multiple challenges and contexts.
Consider “returnship” programs
Search online, or tap your networking community, for more formal programs or coaching engagements that can reinforce your search with outside support and help.
There are many reasons alumni seek flexible or project based work opportunities. You may be looking to scale back, re-enter the workforce, supplement your current role, or take on projects following retirement. We recognize that each situation is unique and encourage you to meet with an HBS career coach in order to take a customized approach to finding the perfect fit.
In addition to meeting with a coach, we have compiled a list of resources for those re-entering the workforce and/or looking for project & flexible work opportunities.