BBB Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT - Career breaks can happen for a variety of reasons. They can be by choice or completely out of our hands. Common reasons include taking time off to raise children or be with family, finding a new job or just doing something non-work related like traveling or investing time in a hobby. For whatever the reason, jumping back on the workforce bandwagon is anything but an easy task. There are a lot of questions you need to consider when looking for a new career. Do you want to stick to the same field? Do you want to stay in the same place? Do you want this to be your forever-job or just a job that pays the bills? What is the bare minimum you need to make to support the kind of life you want? Do you want to explore something brand new? Are you qualified for what you want? The list truly can go on and on.Calm those thoughts and take a breath. Let’s break it down and talk about the actual steps needed when it comes to getting ready to get back to work:Check out this short clip on how to get back to work after a career break!Networking goes a long way.Sure, the Internet has great sites that make job searching a little easier. But a click of a button, while being much more convenient, is a lot less personal than applying the old fashioned way. Write a generic email out to friends, family, past co-workers, or anyone you feel comfortable reaching out to, explaining where you’re at right now and what you’re looking for. Instead of asking around for a job, ask if anyone has some information or knows about possible opportunities or paths you can take.Here is a format of a networking email to get you started:I recently had a conversation with [COMMON ACQUAINTANCE] who suggested that you would be a good person to talk to regarding certain career objectives of mine.I am attempting to gather information about different opportunities available in the area, and more specifically a career that allows me to [INSERT CAREER OBJECTIVES HERE].I recognize that you may not know of any positions available at the time; however, I would like to get your opinion of the job market as well as acquaint you with my background. I have enclosed my resume to give some information about my skills and accomplishments.Perhaps we could arrange a time in the future to talk more, I would appreciate any advice you have to offer. I look forward to hearing from you!Take all the interviews you can get.Interviewing is tough and it might take a while to actually get in the swing of it. I’ll be honest, when I first starting applying to jobs it took me about eight really bad interviews to finally relax and be confident and know how to present myself in a professional manner. Even if you get an opportunity for a job that you’re not crazy about, you can always benefit from practicing your interviewing skills. That way when the job you’re crazy about comes around, you’ll be able to go in with confidence. So if you get an opportunity for an interview and you’re not doing anything else during that time, even if you know you don’t want the job, what’s the harm in practicing? You might learn something valuable that you can apply to your next interview in the future.Be upfront about your career break.Chances are if you have a large gap of time between jobs, it will stick out on your resume and possible employers will ask about it. Instead of being defensive or ashamed of your break, use this to show how your break has made you more hireable. Maybe the time helped your work goals come to light and forced you to explore passions you were unsure of. The best way to start a new career is with confidence and honesty, so be sure of yourself and explain why and how your recent break was necessary for you to be the best version of yourself for this new job.Fake it ‘til you make it.Not a saying I’m crazy about but sometimes, especially in this case, it applies perfectly. For people who are already feeling a little down on themselves after a career break, it can be really hard to build back up the confidence that you need. You need to be confident in yourself in order for someone to see your potential. Put on a smile, believe in yourself, and you will do great things.For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org.