Getting back into the working world following a career break is definitely not easy but it is achievable and with enough preparation and determination, you will find a fulfilling role that enables both you and your family to be at your best.
According to a recent German government survey, 84% of mothers and 80% of fathers between the ages of 25 and 60 years absolutely agree that it is the task of the government to ensure an easy reintegration into the workplace for women.
In cooperation with the BMFSFJ, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) has subsequently set up a portal specifically on the subject of ‘Wiedereinstieg in den Job’- or as I like to call it ‘Career-Comeback’. If you can read German (or if you can translate via a nifty tool such as Chrome), this is an invaluable resource with information about the benefits of re-entering the job market; a questionnaire, the results of which deliver a personalized link list with further information about starting back at work; a calculator that helps you figure out roughly how much you could expect to earn and a local search for places you can go for practical help and advice.
Whilst it’s important to get the lay of the land and make yourself a plan before you take your first steps back into the working world, the old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, continues to apply. Good networking opportunities can only boost your confidence and help you get your foot in the door of your next employer, so get out there!
For networking opportunities in your field of choice, contact the relevant professional body (‘Verband’) where applicable or try meetup.com, xing.com or linkedIn.com. A brand new type of networking event, expanding across the world is HubDot which is worth checking out.
Many women who have taken a career break confirm that they feel they ‘lost’ their professional selves during that time. Being out of the workplace and taking care of all of the other things that life throws at us often means that we forget what we have to offer a prospective employer.
It’s important to reconnect with your inner career-woman, whether that means getting in touch with old contacts for some ‘work experience’ to get you back into the swing of things and bring you up to date, attending webinars to expand your knowledge of the field in which you’re interested or getting a makeover and buying some new work clothes, or all of these! Your ego will also benefit from giving your LinkedIn and/or Xing* profile a makeover and of course updating your CV/resumé.
Of course you need to know where to look for that coveted job! There are a whole host of online job search portals but here are my top 5:
1. Federal Employment Agency job search
4. Edition F
5. Jobs in Berlin (Berlin-based)
Wishing you every success with your ‘career-comeback’!
*Whilst LinkedIn is an excellent online resource at an international level, many German speakers use Xing. I suggest that you also set up a profile here since recruiters seem to use both platforms in parallel to headhunt for prospective employees (and there’s an extensive jobs section).
Need more support on your back-to-work journey? Check out my one-to-one programmes: Career Breakthrough and Jumpstart Your Career, or book a complimentary discovery call with me to find out more about me, how coaching works and how I can help you.