Career break, for some people something they don’t understand why somebody should do something like that and for others good way how to persuade their dreams or take time to think about their lives. In what ever group you fit in both cases is quite hard to imagine how it is / will be after return from your Career break. I had the chance take one and be honest I was quite naive in the way how easy it will be return back home. Personal wise and work wise as well… Therefore I decided to share my experience and give slight idea what to expect, how to deal with your return and in same time give some advice what helps to find faster an job after your return.
One of the first things I was confronted after my return was reverse culture shock. I already had known that something like that exist, but didn’t know how much this can influence you. I remember when I was some years ago coming back home after spending a year working in India, people asked me if I am not scared of reverse culture shock. That time I thought about them that they are just trying to scare me. That reverse culture shock is nonsense. Quite soon after my return I realized what everybody was asking me about…
Now I can honestly tell you that Reverse culture shock is reality and sometime doesn’t have to be such a fun as it sounds…
At the beginning I thought that it will be easy to get over because I already have the experience with that so “I know what is waiting for me“. Well it wasn’t so true. Yes I had the experience and yes I had known it will come. On the other hand now I was away for longer time with lot of inputs from outside world and places I had a chance to visit on my way. Probably most importantly I wasn’t anymore used to the life most people live back home. That means life which was in some way waiting for me.
So what was my experience and how to get over reverse culture shock faster? First of all be prepared that not many people would understand why did you actually leave the country. They would be exited to hear your stories, but that is all. When you were away their lives went on and not much changed for them. On the other hand you experienced many new things and met new people every day. Therefore for them is almost impossible to understand your feelings and in some way also confusedness you can experience.
Personally took me some time to move on. It can be for each and every person a bit different, but at the end all goes thought same phases:
These are stages you most probably will go thought after your return back home when you were away for longer time. Of course everything has its solution and below I am mentioning few things which can help you get back on “tracks” faster:
You were some time away so don’t expect that job hunting will be easy when you return. The opposite is true. It takes time and more time than usually. On the other hand you have something to offer what others don’t have. It is as in every business you just need to know how to sell yourself.
How to make whole job hunting process faster?
One thing which I would not do again is going for job interview basically immediately after returning home. I did so and it end up as disaster. My head was still traveling, I was exited being home and at the end I had a problem to answer even some basic questions. So take some time to relax and get use to that you are back home.
Till now it was kind of theory so lets have a look a bit what for example I experienced after my return. Therefore this part is more about my personal experience and approach of some companies / agencies. When I was already at home for some time and looked back than quite surprised me approach of some people from HR and even now still didn’t really get their logic.
When I started to go for a job interviews I did not expected that people would consider what I did as something special. As well I did not expected their reaction and approach to me. I can imagine their fear that after such a long time I will have a problem to start work again or that I can decide to leave. On the other hand this approach I can have to all people. Nobody can 100% guarantee that will stay in the company “forever”. And in my case I already fulfilled my dream so most probably will not have the desire to leave again.
What was for me even more shocking that plenty HR people considered that I did not remember anything what I learned before. To questions like if I still know how to work with MS Office package really shocked me and wasn’t sure If I am not dreaming.
Once I was even invited for the interview to the branch of quite big foreign company. Between the doors they told me that they already have chosen the right candidate, but they liked my CV so wanted to see me. There would not be much wrong on this if the interview did not end up as lecture about my travels and experiences above coffee. No interest about my CV and experiences whatsoever. I have no problem to discuss my travel experiences, but invite somebody for interview and then tell him they are actually not interested? That is for me a bit too much.
Well at least I have an idea how probably woman feel when they are returning back to work after maternity leave.
As I already wrote above be prepared that people approach to you can be quite weird. Important is not to give up and continue in your goal.
Therefore what to expect after your return from Career brake? Be prepared that your return would not be easy as you may think. Take your time, try to focus on new goal and everything gets to normal.
Don’t expect that finding job after career break will be easy. Actually it is more difficult than normally. Start to prepare for return some time before you land back home. Start look for a job before you get home and be prepared that things would not go easy. Be prepared that there will be quite lot of people who would not understand why did you do something like leaving your job, family, friends for such a long time.