You’ve been out of a job for some time and you’re wondering what your options are for returning to the workforce. Perhaps you had to take a career break because you couldn’t keep up with the ever-changing job market trends or you needed time off to handle personal or health issues. Now, you’re ready to make a comeback but you don’t know how to go about the job search.
This article will provide you with all the information you need to make a seamless reentry into the labor market. You will learn how to secure the highest-paying jobs in your desired industry with or without in-demand skills. Find out the best full-time and part-time jobs for reentering the workforce as well as the kind of companies that hire workers in your situation.
What Does It Mean to Reenter the Workforce?
Reentering the workforce means applying for and landing a job after an extended period of absence from full-time or part-time work. You only reenter the workforce when you’ve sustained noticeable career gaps because of unavoidable life events. These events could be accidents, divorce, childbirth and child-rearing, school, or illness.
What Jobs Are Available to Those Reentering the Workforce?
There are several jobs available to those who took time off work, especially if you are breaking into the workforce as a contract or freelance worker. With this entry method, you can immediately apply transferable skills to suitable jobs in the gig economy. All you have to do is find jobs suited to your current skillset and use the right digital platforms to promote yourself.
Entrepreneurial roles where you manage or promote a business is another great way to get back to earning an income. You can create products to sell or help someone else sell their creations on digital platforms. You don’t necessarily need to acquire new skills. If you already have marketing or business management skills and experience, all you need are the right tools.
If you’re interested in getting back into a full-time or part-time job, medical, sales, and teaching jobs are some of the easiest to return to. The underlying techniques of these fields remain constant. Jobs in the legal profession are also easy to get back into. Few dramatic changes occur over the years. With minimal studying, you can get back in.
Companies That Hire Individuals Reentering the Workforce
Some companies initiate training programs to help workers update their skills and take advantage of lots of career opportunities. So if you took a career break and wish to get back to your old industry or want to change career paths, you can apply to any of these companies offering returnship programs.
- Amazon. Amazon offers a structured 16-week paid virtual program to professionals who took career breaks but are ready to return to their profession. The training and mentorship are designed to make reintegration into the workforce more productive. At the end of the program, Amazon offers employment to the top performers.
- Northwell Health. Path Forward in collaboration with Northwell Health launched a reentry program for mid-career professionals who have a career gap of up to two years but are looking to return to the workforce. This 16-week program is for those with up to five years of experience in finance, information technology, or human resources.
- Intuit. Intuit offers a 16-week career program for technology professionals who took time off work for family or personal obligations. Candidates who go through this mentorship, bootcamp training, and professional development program can transition into a full-time role upon completion.
- JP Morgan. JP Morgan introduced a 15-week returners program in major cities in the US, UK, Singapore, India, and Hong Kong to allow returning professionals with a two-year employment gap to relaunch their careers in a structured environment. You have the opportunity to secure a permanent position at the end of the program.
- Goldman Sachs. Since 2008, Goldman Sachs has taken efforts to assist returning professionals in relaunching their careers, regardless of the extent of the career gap. This six-month returners program targets professionals from diverse work backgrounds with two or more years of extended absence.
- Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin launched its “Chapter Next Program” to aid candidates with technical skills to reenter the workforce. All professionals with a career break of two or more years are welcome to apply for the 12 to 16 weeks paid program that may lead to full-time work at Lockheed Martin.
- IBM. IBM’s tech reentry program enables tech professionals to participate in projects that will build their skills and reenter the workforce within a couple of weeks. IBM offers a structured work environment, resources, and network to aid their development. At the end of the program, you can land a full-time job at the company.
- NBC Universal. NBC Universal offers a paid six-month returners program for experienced professionals with diverse work experience in the tech industry. Applicants should have at least five years of experience, have been out of work for two years or more, and hold technical degrees or certificates.
- Santander. Santander offers a 24-week paid internship program to assist professionals who took career breaks. This training enables workers located in Dallas, Boston, and New York to transition into the workforce. You’ll get acquainted with the latest technology, tools, and methods used in performing modern job functions.
- Accenture. Accenture offers a 16-week paid reentry training program that equips experienced professionals with the technical skills and knowledge necessary to make it in the modern industry. Participants will work with new IT technologies such as Agile, DevOps, cloud, and artificial intelligence tools.
10 Highest-Paying Jobs for Reentering the Workforce
Just because you took considerable time off from work, doesn’t necessarily mean you will return to a low-income job or have limited job options. Below are the best jobs for full-time and part-time workers to earn a stable income.
|Job Title||Average Salary||Top 10% Salary|
|Real Estate Agent||$82,898||$109,000|
Nursing professionals are projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to experience an accelerated job growth rate of 45 percent from 2020 to 2030. Professionals in this role include nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse-midwives. If you’re already a registered nurse with organizational skills, you can relaunch your career with any of these nursing professions.
If you’re a technology or business savvy professional who has taken considerable time off work and would like to launch a new career in tune with the current market demands, you can opt for a data analytics career. This field deals with the management of data sets using scientific tools, methods, and models.
It includes conducting market research, exploring historical data to discover information patterns that can be converted into insights and used in decision making. If you already have an undergraduate degree in a related field, you could attend a data analytics bootcamp to align your skills and knowledge with the current market or apply for a master’s degree program.
Software development is an in-demand tech field and it’s open to all interested individuals who are ready to go through the intensive training process. Software development involves the development, testing, deployment, and maintenance of software applications and systems. This field has a positive outlook so investing in this career ensures you will stay relevant for years.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in your fifties or twenties and might have to start with entry-level positions. With how flexible this role is, you can work remotely. What’s more, it’s easy to get started. You can teach yourself to code and build applications from available online resources. If you’re looking for more defined training, coding bootcamps can help you succeed.
Sometimes, reentering the workforce simply means rechanneling the services you provide. As an experienced professional with over five years of experience, you can choose to become a consultant. This role allows you to control your career development and derive fulfillment while doing so. You get to apply your mentoring skills while enjoying flexible hours.
To get started as a professional consultant, you should have a professional certification. This would enable you to boost your credibility. Depending on the kind of public image you want, you may need to get a business license.
Real Estate Agent
If you’ve been a stay-at-home parent for quite some time and you’re looking for a new career with flexible work schedules and transferable soft skills, becoming a real estate agent is a good option. Depending on how well you perform in your role, you can earn a high income.
Real estate agents are licensed professionals who facilitate estate transactions. They connect buyers with sellers of real estate properties for a commission. You don’t need a college degree to get started. All you need is a high school diploma, negotiation skills, and a positive attitude. You will need to study for and pass an exam to receive a real estate license in your state.
With the growth of online business and social media platforms, marketing and advertising professionals who have been out of the industry for an extended period of time can relaunch their careers as freelance writers. Copywriters write sales copies for businesses to sell or create awareness about certain products across digital platforms.
This career path is one of the easiest to get started in as long as you have adequate marketing and communication skills. If you don’t, there are plenty of copywriting courses and coaches to help you. This is a flexible job that you can do from the comfort of your home. You get to choose your hours and clients, as well as set your desired compensation rates.
Professors typically have doctoral degrees and certifications to teach college students. If you’re passionate about teaching and you have the time and resources to further your education, you can become a professor. Professors are skilled at academic research and aid professionals in improving their work processes through their publications and consultations.
To get started in becoming a professor, you have to pick a discipline to specialize in, then proceed to acquire the necessary education. While studying for your doctoral degree, you can work as a teaching assistant at the university or college you’re studying in. This would help you build the connection you need to secure a job there.
A digital entrepreneur owns and manages an online business, whether as a blogger, ecommerce store owner, or independent contractor. If you’re considering relaunching your career in the labor market but you aren’t keen on working as an employee, you can put your savings to good use and start an online business from home.
This is one of the ideal ways to get back into the workforce. It requires a lot of work to get the business up and running but you can always contract out or hire help. The advantages to running your own business are numerous but some of the most satisfying ones are the high revenue, flexible schedules, and the chance to use your creativity.
It is easy and affordable to get started in this role. You can learn the techniques of the field through online courses. But if you want to boost your professional image and broaden your field knowledge, attending a web design bootcamp is your best option. This career path makes it easy to climb the career ladder or keep up with the changing trends in the tech industry.
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Virtual assistance is usually the go-to career for stay-at-home parents, mostly because it doesn’t require specialized skills or training and has a flexible schedule so you can do it from anywhere in the world. Entry-level virtual assistant jobs pay well and as you get more comfortable in your role you can increase your rates.
This is a home-based job and the tasks include managing phone calls, emails, calendars, and social media pages. Some virtual assistants also perform data entry and bookkeeping tasks depending on their employer. Generally, the tasks are easy enough and most employers provide training once hired.
Tips for Finding Success When Reentering the Workforce
If you’re looking to reenter the workforce, you should reacquaint yourself with the new industry trends and implement a job search strategy. It can be more difficult to quickly get a job compared to before you left if you didn’t build a lot of transferable skills. If you follow the tips listed below, you’ll find it easier to land a good-paying job in your desired industry.
- Conduct industry and job market research. If you’ve made up your mind to relaunch your career, the first thing you should do is conduct industry research to learn the latest developments and job options in your desired industry. Then, investigate the latest job market trends so you’ll know how to proceed with your job applications. This will enable you to properly direct your resources.
- Secure a professional certification. Professional certification gives you industry credibility that would be useful in negotiating high compensation rates. Enrolling in a professional program is a chance to build the relevant skills needed to succeed in your field. These programs allow you to build a network you can rely on in your career.
- Upskill with a market-led course. If you’re looking to just update your skills in your field, a course is a great way to learn the latest trends and technologies in your industry. These programs are flexible and they allow you to practice. You can conduct real-life projects as part of your program to improve your learning experience.
- Review your resume. To boost your chances of getting to the job interview stage, you need a well-structured resume and cover letter that properly highlights all your achievements and experience. Your resume should draw attention away from your resume gaps and direct focus on your experiences.
- Take advantage of corporate returnship programs. Some companies offer returnship programs to aid returning professionals in reintegrating into the workforce. These fellowships are usually paid and can lead to full-time positions. You’ll build a network of professionals, acquaint yourself with the latest technologies and methods in your industry, and boost your resume with structured projects.
- Try to secure freelance or contract gigs. You don’t need to return as an employee if you don’t want to, you can launch your new career as a freelancer or independent contractor. There are several gig companies and freelance marketplaces that aid individuals in this category. They are an easy way to make money as long as you know where to start.
Jobs for Reentering the Workforce Outlook
The outlook for workers reentering the workforce is encouraging. Regardless of the reason for your career break, you can return to a better job position than you left. The information and resources provided in this article can make your transition into a job less complicated and intimidating.
With most companies offering home-based jobs, you don’t have to worry about commuting or relocating. In fact, you can take advantage of the remote work system and apply to a broader job market so you can optimize your compensation rate.
Best Jobs for Reentering the Workforce FAQ
The first step to getting a job after being out of the workforce for some time is to conduct market research and check job listings. This would help you make a career checklist consisting of your possible career options, expected average salary range, training options, required resources, and platforms for individuals in your situation. You can also get coaching from a career expert.
Currently, the most in-demand careers are in the technological and medical fields. Jobs that require expertise in the use of artificial intelligence, project management, and machine learning tools and techniques are in high demand. Nursing, engineering, hospitality, and entertainment are amongst the fastest-growing occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
No, they aren’t bad but they can disrupt your chances of scaling up in your industry. If your departure was for a prolonged period, it can make it confusing and challenging to return. You won’t be able to quickly pick up from where you stopped unless you keep your skills up to date. Most times, you would need training and resume revamping.
Yes, it can look bad on your resume. That’s why you should ensure your resume highlights your achievements or displays your recent growth rather than your deficiencies. The hiring manager doesn’t want to run the risk of hiring liabilities as employees. So providing a proper explanation for your absence can boost your chances of success.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.