Getting Back in the Job Market After a Long Time Away

Last Updated: 

February 27, 2024

After a long time, returning to the job-hunting arena may meet you with many challenges. These reservations may affect your confidence and will make your tasks like updating resumes or networking quite daunting.

The fear of meeting stress-triggering situations during the application and hiring stages may become overwhelming, and keeping your cool might become impossible. Especially if you have mental health issues beforehand, disclosure and requesting accommodations for your condition may add to the complexity of your situation.

These insights here might just be what you need to breathe through your transition from the job market to new employment.

A job interview being conducted

Key Takeaways on Getting Back in the Job Market

  1. Reskill and Update Your Resume: Identify current industry demands, upskill accordingly, and tailor your resume to highlight valuable skills.
  2. Prioritise Support Systems: Seek professional help and build a strong support network to navigate challenges, especially if dealing with mental health issues.
  3. Trauma Management is Crucial: Address past traumas through effective therapy, medications, and family support to ensure a smooth transition back to the job market.
  4. Embrace Self-Care: Cultivate a positive mindset and practise daily self-care activities, such as mindfulness, to manage stress and anxiety effectively.
  5. Revamp Your Network: Reconnect with former colleagues, attend industry events, and join professional groups to expand your network and discover hidden job opportunities.
  6. Tap into Online Job Boards: Leverage technology by utilising online job boards and professional networking sites like LinkedIn to explore a wide range of job opportunities.
  7. Be Kind to Yourself: Acknowledge the challenges of reentering the workforce, seek professional support, and practice self-compassion throughout the journey.
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Approaches to Help You Get Back to the Job Market

Update Your Resume and Profiles with Sensitivity

Times change, and so do the skillsets and requirements you need to compete in the job market. The key is to identify what skills are highly valued in the niche you're exploring and tailor your resume to accommodate them. 

Depending on how long you've been off work, you may need to upskill. This shows potential employers that despite the work hiatus, you've been proactive!

Prioritise Support Systems

Returning to the job market after an employment hiatus will be a life-changing event. You will need support systems and professional help to prepare yourself to work or have a job again.

Rather than expecting your new employer to completely accommodate and allocate resources, you may need to see a therapist to help you through your mental or emotional struggles. It may be best to find one you can trust to help you prepare for another entry into the employment arena. 

Seek effective therapy for PTSD if you once suffered a traumatic experience in your previous workplace or personal life that might disrupt your new job if not attended to adequately. Trauma management, medications, and family support are your most needed tools to counter former troubles so you can get back to the job market smoothly.

Practice Self-Care

It will help you return smoothly to the job market if you strive to live with a positive mindset and practice self-care. Thinking of yourself and what you've been through is not about selfishness. It's about recognising your strengths and triggers and accepting them to be able to manage them better. 

Also, incorporating self-care activities like mindfulness and practising them every day will help you manage stress and anxiety effectively. They will help build a new you with a more productive and positive perspective and help you become more effective and fit for a new job. 


Returning to the job hunting stage after a long while may feel like too much to chew, especially with personnel movement and fast-paced work transitions. The people you know then might be supervisors or managers now. 

So, it's much better if you start networking first, reach out to former colleagues, attend industry events, and join professional groups to uncover more opportunities. The more you expand your network of "who's who" and "whom you know," the more you increase your chances of finding a new job.

Family, friends, and former colleagues may know of openings, while attending events and groups may have opportunities for you to meet potential employers or learn about job openings. Building your relationships in your industry once again through networking can lead to referrals and connections that may not be advertised publicly. It'll give you an edge in your job search.

Utilise Online Job Boards

In today's technology, where everything seems to be "searchable" via the web, it's best to maximise the potential of finding your next job online. Online job boards and many professional networking sites like Linkedln can give you a more convenient way to search and get connected with recruiters.

Many of these platforms can provide access to a wide range of job opportunities across many industries--it's as if you're taking your pick from a variety of choices. It's the easiest way to filter and apply to positions or jobs that match your skills and interests. 

Also, these networking sites can help you build connections with professionals, recruiters, and potential employers in the field, which increases your visibility and chances of finding employment.


Your decision and intention to go back to the workforce may be easier said than done. There will always be challenges that may test your limits. Yes, you may need professional support to update your papers, practice self-care, network, and use online job boards. But in all of these, be gentle with yourself all throughout. 

Returning to the job-hunting phase and working again can be challenging, and it needs your greater attention to yourself. So, self-compassion is vital for you along the way, which can either make or break the career you want to re-establish. 

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