Top 10 Tips to Restart Your Career

Restarting your career can be a daunting journey. And like any journey, it’s best to take one step at a time.

We’ve assembled the best advice from the Path Forward alumni community on how to restart your career. Whether you’ve taken time away to focus on caring for your kids, your family, or yourself, these tried and tested strategies will help you navigate the way back to work after a career break.

1.  Define Success for Yourself

It’s easy to start comparing yourself to former classmates or coworkers and feel discouraged. Don’t do this! You get to decide what success is for you.

2.  Get in the Right Mindset

Start imagining yourself as someone who is back in the workforce. Maybe start by writing your next job description. It will feel silly at first, but visualizing yourself in work mode will help your mind shift.

3.  Network, Network, Network

Use LinkedIn to connect with everyone you know — neighbors, friends, other parents, and former colleagues.

4.  Always be Asking

Ask for advice. Ask for help. Ask for the job. Ask for a chance to prove yourself. People will say no and ignore you. Keep asking anyway. The “yes” is worth waiting for.

5.  Make a Plan

As one of our grads said, “Put it on the calendar.” Make appointments with yourself to spend time on researching companies, updating your resume, and networking.

6.  Take More Risks

Apply to the job, even if your resume isn’t perfect. Ask for a virtual coffee, even if you think that person must be “much too busy.” Put yourself out there.

7.  Invest in Yourself

When you aren’t working for pay it can be hard to justify expenses like childcare, reskilling, or coaching. But expenses that give you time or a confidence boost will get you back to work faster.

8.  Fill Your Own Cup First

When you are only ever giving to others, you will eventually feel burned out and resentful. By making sure your needs are met, you are more able to meet the needs of your family.

9.  Make Everyone Your Mentor

We often think of mentoring as a formal thing, and it certainly can be. But it can also be just having a habit of constantly asking “How did you do it?”

10.  Be Your Authentic Self

So many returnees ask questions about “hiding” their gap. And we get it: a lot of people discriminate against caregivers. But it’s much better to seek out people and companies who will appreciate the real you and all the fabulousness that you bring because of your life experiences.

One path we recommend: returnships. Path Forward’s employer partners welcome resume gaps and offer paid returnships that often lead to full-time employment. The opportunity to sharpen your skills, update your resume with new experiences, make connections, and contribute to a team can be a great on-ramp back to your career.