Chronic illness, raising a family, caring for a loved one . . . there are many reasons why people take time off work. Sometimes the months turn into years. The prospect of launching back into paid employment after a long absence can be daunting. You may feel your skills are rusty and wonder what employer would be prepared to take you on. Don’t sink into despair! There are simple steps you can take to build a positive mindset and ensure you are work ready.

Here are 5 ways to boost your confidence when you’ve been out of work.

1. Refresh or Reskill

Things do change over time. So, you may have a little catching up to do before you go back to work. Courses can be a great way to refresh or reskill. You may find it useful to check out what’s on offer at your local TAFE or community college. The JobTrainer program offers job seekers low cost and fee-free training options in multiple sectors, including as sports & fitness, healthcare, civil construction and logistics. It’s a no-brainer: there really is something for everyone! For more on short online courses, take a look at our recent blog article.

2. Volunteer

Helping out in a local charity shop, animal shelter or school canteen can provide you with a fantastic opportunity to build useful skills and boost your confidence. You may be assisting clients, taking cash and card payments or liaising with vets and foster families. Volunteer experience has a valuable place on your resume and will not go unnoticed by potential employers, especially if it’s regular and ongoing.

3. Self-Care

Boosting confidence also comes from within. How often do you hear about the importance of eating well, sleeping well and staying hydrated? It may seem obvious, but all these can make a positive difference to your outlook on life and work. There are many other things to factor into self-care, such as regular exercise, making time for family and friends, and celebrating your achievements.

4. Value Your Life Experience

You may consider your skills and experience to be outdated, but you likely have plenty to bring to the table. Reflect on what you have accomplished in the time that you have been off work. Full-time homemakers may have finely honed skills in organisation, communication and conflict management. As a caregiver, you may be adept at administering medication, assisting with activities of daily living, and coordinating therapy.

5. Network & Connect

Online platforms are a great way to gradually build your presence, make connections, and deepen your understanding of your industry sector. Dip your toe back in the water by creating or updating your LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Facebook accounts. Then, look at following relevant organisations and individuals and joining professional groups and communities. There may also be online events you can attend from the comfort of your home.

Looking at returning to work after a period of absence can be challenging. By taking positive action now, you can refresh and rebuild your skills and connect with others in your industry. These simple steps will boost your confidence and help you to find your way back into a rewarding role.

If you’re looking at getting back to work after a career break, contact the professional team at Optimal Recruitment today on info@gotlms.clippingways.com or 02 8416 4181.