3 Things Kate Bush Can Teach us About Career Breaks
After a triumphant return to stage, the world can’t stop talking about the, up-till now, infamously elusive Kate Bush. With a score of 22 sold out dates, the ‘Before the Dawn’ tour is only the second tour in Bush’s career. The reasons for such a long gap are believed to be both exhaustion and severe stage fright. And though not all of us will have breaks of the same 36 year length, I’m certain that at points in each of our lives we’ll need to take some time away to focus on other things: be that to change career, to raise our children or unfortunately, through powers out of our control: it may be our health, the health of relatives or redundancy.
No matter the reason for a career break, when you feel ready and want to get back into work, you should have the same chances as anyone else. So here are our top three tips to help you take back centre stage:
Do Your Research
Kate Bush didn’t jump straight into her tour without putting in some serious rehearsal hours, so it makes sense that you’ll need to do the same before you begin your job search. You may lack confidence in certain areas, such as technology. The fast paced nature of the industry can seem daunting to those who’ve been ‘out of the game’ for a while; with companies increasingly relying on I.T. and mobile technology, it can seem too much initially. But after a little research and practice you can familiarise yourself with the ‘biggies’ – Outlook (it has a very handy calendar too), Skype, LinkedIn, etc.
It could be helpful to read blogs specific to the industry you want to work in and build your confidence back up by expanding your knowledge of the sector and any changes that may have occurred in your absence.
Perhaps volunteer for a while and ease yourself back into work gently – then you may still feel you’re throwing yourself in the deep end, but you’ve got a lovely rubber ring for support. You’ll also have fresh references and the start of a new network.
A little nepotism can really help when getting back into work – Kate Bush is no stranger to it either (her son has a staring role in her tour). If you can reconnect to old colleagues – perhaps just for some advice – you’ll not only pick up valuable insights into industry changes, but may find a few recommendations for available positions. You won’t know unless you give it a go.
But if you don’t have any ‘friends (or family) in high places’, don’t despair – a simple Google search for local networking groups within your sector could prove just as useful; some may cost a little, but there are those that are completely free. Check out Event Brite – they have a huge selection of events, from alumni to sector specific across the UK.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Improve your CV and Cover Letters
People want to get what they’ve asked for. The audience who paid to see Kate Bush wanted to see something that reflected her and the essence of who she was 36 years ago. The same is true of potential employers. If they’re asking for people with specific skills, show them how and why you have them – it may not be through previous roles, you can show you have developed managing a very busy schedule by explaining the complexities of getting a two year old fed, washed and dressed, yet still managing to get your older children (packed lunch in hand) dropped of at exactly 8:30am on the dot for the last 3 years. Think outside the box.
I hope the advice above helps. And here at Mitchell Adam we wish you all the best of luck in your job search.