A sabbatical is a small career break that people take for a wide variety of personal reasons. It could be marriage, child birth, loss of a loved one, travel, to rest and rejuvenate, etc. While sabbatical leaves were often frowned upon in earlier times, modern day organizations do not consider it as a negative development. However, you do need to have some valid answers when asked to explain your sabbatical. If you were on leave and are now ready to get back to work, here’s how you can jumpstart your career after a sabbatical.
Add sabbatical details to your CV – You need to update your CV to include details about your sabbatical leave. You should mention the key reasons for taking the sabbatical and how it has benefitted you and your career. This way the interviewer will know what to expect and your sabbatical will not come as a surprise to them.
Wait for the right opportunity – It is generally believed that getting a job after a sabbatical is quite difficult. This can cause a lot of desperation on part of the candidates. However, you should not let your anxieties and worries dictate your career moves. Instead of accepting any job offer that comes your way, you need to wait for the right opportunity. You should only accept jobs that you like and one that will be suitable for your career growth. Avoid accepting jobs out of fear or desperation.
Activate your social and professional network – After a sabbatical, it would be very helpful to reach out to your friends, former clients and ex-colleagues. Your social and professional network can work to your advantage to find the right job opportunity you are looking for. In such cases, you will have ready references, which will increase the probability of your selection.
Prepare for interview – It is possible that the interviewer may want to grill you about your sabbatical. It is not that they do not trust you; rather, they may just be trying to make sure that you have made a calculated career move. They may be trying to ensure that your career decisions were guided by logic and not due to impulsive behavior. In such cases, you are likely to be asked a lot of questions about your sabbatical. So think of all the possible questions and make sure you have valid points to support each and every aspect of your sabbatical.
Last but not least, appear confident at the interview. If you fumble when explaining your sabbatical leave, it’s likely to create a negative impression on the interviewer. Always treat your sabbatical as an asset for your career, so that the message is conveyed in the same manner to the interviewer.