This article previously appeared on The Times of India.

1. ​Resuming work after a career break?

Pursuing a career after taking a break for an extended period can be quite challenging. Many people take time away from their work life for various reasons. Some do it to simply go on a sabbatical for academic purposes or others might just take a break from work for personal reasons. But then getting back to the grind after four or five years (even more) can leave anyone overwhelmed and to some extent nervous. But nothing is impossible, right? So, here are a few tips for people who are planning to return to work after a sabbatical.

2. ​Upgrade your skills

While you were taking your time off from work, the professional world has definitely evolved and changed. Before you start your search for a new job, arm yourself with the skills needed to face the new world. Learn the new jargons, familiarize yourself with the changes, read about the change in industry trends and leadership. And thanks to online courses, you can now easily master new skills. 

3. Volunteer for work or freelance

Before you join the nine-to-five grind, it would be a good idea to slowly acclimatise yourself to regular work. And to do that you can either volunteer for shorter-hour work or take up freelancing projects. This will also help you get used to the working environment or a new schedule, thereby making it easy for you to adjust better.

4. ​Network

Networking with the right people is perhaps the most important thing to do when you want to pursue a career after a break. Meet old friends or former colleagues and tell them about your plan. Ask your friends to introduce you to new people in the industry. The more you network with people, the more you will learn about the job market. 

5. Take help of online job portals

Online job portals are a great source to learn about the job market. Create a profile and update your resume. However, make sure that you do not limit your job search based on a particular idea. For example, if you were a teacher before and taught English, you can also look for content writing jobs. Just keep your options open and you will be surprised by the number of notifications you would get.

6. Do not wait for too long

Once you make up your mind to start working again, do not waste time dilly-dallying. A lot of people wait for the right opportunity and in the process, they end up rejecting jobs just because these do not match their expectations. Remember, you have to start somewhere, right? In case, a job meets a few basic expectations like salary or position, you can make little adjustments with other factors like working hours, other benefits, etc.

7. Things you need to avoid

Sometimes the situation can be so frustrating that a person might end up doing things in desperation that he or she will have to repent later. One such thing is putting false information in the resume. Never lie in your CV about your missing years from work. Make sure to explain your career break briefly in interviews. Next, do not just pin your hopes on one channel like an ex-boss or just a single organization. Explore as many options and avenues as possible. Never give up hope and don’t let anyone or any situation affect your confidence. Because at the end of the day, your confidence is your biggest strength, right?