Ask Tami #13: Returning to Work with a Non-Linear Career Path

Ramya: The career that I had before my break was nothing remarkable, and did not follow a specific path. How can returnees like me, who were still trying to figure out their career goals before their break, find their way back into the workforce?  I feel out of my depth every time I look at a job or returnship description.

I know how difficult it is to take that first step back into the workforce, and I hope that you will give yourself grace in this journey. 

You mention your non-linear career as “nothing remarkable”, but we at Path Forward – along with our partner employers – do not see it that way! Your professional experience, as well as life experience being a caregiver, are undoubtedly full of challenges you’ve overcome with strategic thinking, proactivity and other soft skills that are in demand. These coveted soft skills are why returners are seen as an untapped talent pool – sometimes we just need to translate unpaid work into business language and practice our story to get those skills across while interviewing

If you are looking to hire a career coach, here’s a couple questions to ask yourself before you do so. If you’re interested in refreshing or reskilling via online courses, there are great options for free and low-cost classes in many fields you can complete on your own time. However, know that certificates and courses aren’t the gating factors for re-entry into the workforce. Whether you refresh via solitary study, volunteering, independent projects, or formal courses is up to you!

Lastly, make sure to sign up for our newsletter. You’ll get new career advice, inspiring success stories, invitations to our free webinars on topics that are relevant to returners, and of course, all the latest returnship job listings.

Good luck,