By Clay Wyatt
Posted on 04/12/2016

You took a career break. Now, whether you need more money, have career goals left to achieve or just miss talking about your favorite television show by the water cooler, you’re wondering how to get back into the workforce.

If the above sounds like your situation, you might not know where to begin. How can you go from your current lifestyle back to being a full-time worker? Is the process as easy as sending out a few resumes and waiting for calls or is there more to it? Here are six tips for returning to work after a career break.

1. Consider Your Options

Be sure that the type of work you seek matches your current interests and skills. For example, if you were eager to get out of your last job, you probably didn’t enjoy it. If this is the case, you probably wouldn’t like it the second time, either. The last thing you’ll want is to be planning your next career break or counting down the years until retirement a month after you resume working, so be sure that your new job is a match for your present situation.

2. Get Current

If things have changed since you last worked in your chosen profession, it’s time to get current. You can do this by reading relevant publications and getting in touch with your previous colleagues.

3. Update Your Resume

Be sure to update your resume to help effectively market yourself to employers. Some tips for doing so include:

  • Get rid of unnecessary items such as an objective, photo, references and summary

  • Avoid using buzzwords

  • Update your contact information, if necessary

  • Ask someone to proofread it

4. Network

Networking is generally helpful anytime you’re looking for a job. In addition to those you’ve already developed professional relationships with, consider reaching out to family friends as well as former classmates and professors. And if you’re networking with someone for the first time, be sure to keep the meeting brief and leave something to talk about later as doing so could improve your odds of hearing from this person again.

5. Prepare to Interview

Be ready for interviews. Some tips for doing so include:

  • Gather references in case employers request them

  • Gather appropriate materials such as copies of your resume

  • Rehearse responses to potential questions

  • Prepare questions to ask the interviewer

Also, be sure to follow up afterward as doing so appropriately should increase your odds of getting hired. Send a thank you note after the interview. If you do not hear back by the time the next round of interviews was scheduled to begin, follow up again.

6. Reconnect

The shortest route to getting back into the workforce might be through your previous employer. So if you left on good terms and are interested in working there, consider contacting your former employer to arrange a meeting to discuss what you’ve been doing to revive your career. It may have a job available for you or otherwise be able to help you get started again.