How to Enter the Workforce After 10 Years

It's common for people to return to work after several years away.
It's common for people to return to work after several years away. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Certain situations make it necessary, or simply possible for someone to leave a career for long periods of time. Mothers or fathers sometimes decide to stay home and raise children. Severe medical conditions often remove a person from the workforce. Trying to re-enter the workforce can prove to be challenging after a long absence like 10 years. Employers are attracted to job candidates who present themselves in a confident and ready manner, even candidates who are re-entering the workforce.

Study the developments that have taken place in your chosen field since you left the career. Take a course to become familiar with the procedures or technology currently used by the industry if necessary. Changes occur in most occupations over the course of a 10-year absence.

Network with friends, acquaintances and former colleagues to gain inside information on which companies are hiring. Use your contacts to help you reenter the workforce. Ask for a recommendation from someone who knows you well enough to give one.

Practice role playing interviews. Get a friend to play the interviewer and listen to your answers to the obvious questions concerning your extended absence from work. Practice giving answers to typical employment questions such as, "Describe yourself" and "What makes you want to work here?" Practice until you are able to give answers without any hesitation.

Update your wardrobe with at least three new outfits. Dress to look current for all meetings with prospective employers. It's likely that your 10-year-old work clothes should not be re-entering the workforce.

Be confident and positive about your abilities and qualifications. Avoid negative or apologetic references to being out of the workforce for 10 years. Discuss the skills and attributes you gained during your time away from work.

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