In our country, it is a very common scenario where female employees take a break from their careers. The reason may vary from their marriage, relocation, new life excitement, child care, or even elderly care in the family. Once they go for a break, they generally do not analyze the effect on their career thereafter. Most of the time, this break is undefined and the end date is not decided.
Yesterday, I closed one of the important positions in my organization where I preferred and hired a female employee who took one year break due to her second pregnancy and now ready to join back with the help of her in-laws taking care of her baby. I could see her zeal to get back to work and prove her once again. I could feel her self-confidence that I couldn’t resist appreciating her for it. I could see the desperation of getting a job and I am sure this would also be my good decision as my other hires to date.
I came across a number of conversations online and offline where I heard the various reasons that recruiters do not prefer hiring the women who are coming back from their career break. It is stated in research that the extended breaks can cost a woman 43% of the total expected earning potential. Here, we are sharing a few of the reasons that women get into extended career breaks.
No planning ahead: Once a female employee decides to take a break due to any of the mentioned reasons, they rarely plan till when they want to be on break. They forget to keep a check on the last date of this break. I agree that it is not always possible to decide if they ever want to go back to work or not, still, I would always suggest making your mind to go back to work one day, maybe after 20 years. Make sure you give an idea to your children that women are always capable of managing their homes and work equally. You don’t need to work for money every time. Once you decide, all things will take place.
Find a helping hand initially: Once you decide to get back to work, search online for the websites and organizations that specifically work for women to get them back to the corporate world. You can find a range of opportunities varying from internships, part-time jobs, work from options, or full-time jobs.
Be prepared for changes: Time is the biggest thing in the world and it changes a lot very quickly when you are going back to the same corporate world, you may find a changed atmosphere there. Be prepared to face few changes in the beginning, but I assure you all will be fine soon. Also, you may find a change in your schedule wherein you may want to devote more time at home with your kids than at the office. Talk to the management if there is any provision of flexi-hours or work-from-home options. Or else, being in India, we are fortunate enough to have our in-laws and extended families staying together who happily take the responsibilities of our little ones.
Be in touch: Make sure when you are on break, you still keep in touch with your old colleagues, managers, and other HR professionals online through professional social media platforms. Once you decide to go back, these networks will play a big role in getting you hired at the earliest.
Stay Tuned and updated: I remember, when I tried my luck interviewing in a company after a break of more than two years, my interviewer asked me few questions about ESIC and I was wrong with the figures because I haven’t read the recent changes in the law. So, make sure you keep on reading HR articles and subscribe to few websites like HRDGuru where you can keep yourself updated even when not working.
And now, to all my HR friends, I would suggest keeping your eyes towards the women who want to come back to work after taking a career break because you may find them the most honest, hardworking, aggressive to achieve more, multi-tasking abilities, and above all thanks to the company that gives them chance to get back into corporate life.