6 ways to get back into the business game after an extended break
Nothing says success in life quite like reaching that point where you can afford to take an extended period of time off. Spending your days jet-setting, travelling the world and seeing those sights you’ve always dreamed of having time to fit in is the ultimate ambition for most – but what happens if, after a while, you find yourself missing the business game?
For many of us, it’s too ingrained in us to ever truly leave it behind, so if you find the adrenaline of doing a big deal or the allure of landing another exciting contract is just too strong, you’re certainly not alone.
Even so, if you’ve been out of the business game for a while, then getting back into it again can seem daunting – but with a few simple tips, you’ll be back to being a high-flyer again in no time.
Unsure where to start? Read on to find out.
1. Make sure your resumē is simple and to the point
Consider using a consistent naming structure and format across all your means of contact – for example, use your first and last names on your resumē, email address, and LinkedIn Profile. In case you have a personal email address, go ahead and create a new email account for your job search. Try as much as possible to use your real names, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. This way, employers will be able to quickly find any communications from you in their email boxes.
Be sure to also follow the same naming format when you update and save your cover letters and resumēs, says Irene McConnell from Arielle Executive – instead of using names like “cover_letter_003.doc”. This will allow the recruiters, HR personnel and hiring managers to find your documents in their systems faster and more efficiently.
2. Show you’re in demand
With experience like yours, you can afford to be picky – so don’t be afraid to show off your achievements and accolades to increase your chances of landing your dream role.
If you’ve been a serious candidate in a few jobs or you have already received a few offers that didn’t quite do it for you, be sure to let potential employers know that you’re sought after. Hiring managers will see this as a huge positive, and may well take the opportunity to snap you up fast.
A great time to mention any existing offers is when the interviewer asks if you have something going on. You can then casually mention that you’ve been to some interviews and that you’ve had a few offers that you unfortunately had to decline. Honesty is key here, so explain to them why you didn’t accept the positions (perhaps they were too far away to commute to or you didn’t think they were the best fit for you) – you’d be surprised how it’s such a small world where you’re interviewing.
3. Don’t let them see you sweat
Never give your prospective employers (or the people in your network) the impression that you are desperate for the position or a job. After all, with skills and a bank account like yours, why would you be? When a prospective employer asks, “Are you available on Friday for an interview?”, don’t say, “Yes, what time? The whole week is open” – make a point of checking your diary before you agree, to show that you have other options.
4. Review your options
During the early stages of a job search, people tend to be quite selective about the position they want, and the location. However, if you’ve been out of work for a while and are chomping at the bit to get stuck into a new challenge, you should ask yourself every few weeks or months if it’s time to change or expand your interests.
One of the most important things you can do to increase the number of job opportunities is broadening your geographical parameters. Searchers engaged in national searches usually land jobs much more quickly than those looking regionally. Plus, consider alternative job roles or titles that you’d be willing to take, perhaps even a new career path – you might find a high-flying role you love even more.
5. Be ready to answer tough questions
Hiring managers tend to be rough on candidate that have been out of the job market for a year or more. For example, you might be probed on the circumstances around the departure from your previous job.
So, before you go to your next interview, prepare a non-aggressive, honest answer to the question: “What made you leave your last job?” If you’ve been travelling the world and making the most of your financial security, then don’t be afraid to say so – in fact, the fact that you are looking for work out of passion rather than need will only go in your favour.
6. Know your worth
If you’ve already held some pretty impressive positions, it can be tempting to hold out for that “perfect” role – and if you’re returning to the game through sheer love of the business world, then there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t. Know your worth, and don’t be afraid to accept any less than you deserve – and sure to make the most of your remaining leisure time whilst you play the long game.