Occasionally, maybe in our younger days, we always dreamt of a seamless and smooth life, a balanced career, and a thriving social life. However, life happens and we find ourselves taking that long career break, yearning to learn a new language, battling mental health issues, being part of a retrenchment plan, or even quitting for travel or spending time with family.
Whether you are seeking to start a different career or make a debut after a long break, these steps will help you refresh your skills and become more competent in your industry.
How to refresh your skills for a debut after a break
1. Do a research on trends and changes in your career field
Go online and research the current trends and changes that have taken place in your field. Study them and acquaint yourself with digital tools, websites information, and anything new that is happening. Note that this will take longer if you had taken a long break.
Visit the public library or your local library and go through the newspapers, magazines, and catalogues. Make a list of the most important skills in order of priority; this could be the most sought after by potential employers. In the second category, list out skills that you have general knowledge on, or those that are still relevant in the job market.
2. Seek training options in the selected skills
Search for online, physical, or e-learning training options. You can even take advantage of the free courses from your local library. Most classes include computer skills, career preparation classes, or adult basic education courses.
If you do not have a diploma or a degree, you can enroll in an adult high school diploma. This will give you the opportunity to attend apprenticeships, internships, short-term industrial training, and other college programs.
3. Volunteer or ask to shadow someone
The good thing with volunteer or shadowing is that you can use that opportunity to test your understanding and readiness. In a volunteer position, you are not pressured to deliver quantity in comparison to other workers. This means that you work at a moderate pace while evaluating your performance.
With shadowing, you follow a person around and get to know what they do every day. This will help you to understand changes in routines, especially in the medical field.
How to refresh your skills for a different career
Changing a career after a long break can be both refreshing and challenging. This is because if you are getting into an entirely new field, you need double the energy since you had a learning disconnect during the break.
Before learning about the steps you need to take towards refreshing your skills, however, here are a few helpful tips to save you the hassle when changing careers.
- Consider shifting to closely related fields: for example, shift from entrepreneurship and marketing to small business management. This is because closely related fields borrow a lot from each other. This way, you will not be learning an entirely new thing but a different approach and perspective.
- Do your homework; have enough knowledge on the new career. Get as much details as you can from experienced people in that field. The last thing you want is to love the promised glamour only for the reality to shock you.
- Shift careers for the right reasons. Well, this seems intrusive but choosing a career due to its prestige is not enough. Remember careers are our way of life. Sometimes, if not all the time, picking a career might determine our happiness.
Here is where you need to start if you wish to refresh your career:
If you are shifting to a closely related field, then this will be easier for you. There are a number of career training providers both online and in physical locations. These include tertiary institutions, colleges, universities, and intermediate adult education providers. Choose the type of training depending on the skills you need and your understanding level.
Most training institutions will give you the opportunity to attend industrial attachments, internships and part time jobs. This means that you do not have to worry about practical assessments and applications.
Finally, here are less tiring things you can do during a career break to avoid getting disconnected.
- Set some few minutes to do a random check on new changes and trends
- Watch news and stay connected with colleagues and employers
- Read widely during your free time to keep your brain active