You don’t need to worry about that two-month break you took back in 2001, but if you’re headed for a significant employment gap, whether via redundancy or to raise children, consider the following options to keep your C.V in top shape.
Could you up-skill with a certification or professional development course that relates to your industry? Employers value initiative so seek out opportunities to expand your skill-set. Time spent learning new skills and gaining knowledge that help you perform better will be worth the investment. Australian Online Courses has hundreds of professional development certificates, across a multitude of industries. These online, self-paced courses are flexible in delivery, affordable and are industry-approved to give your C.V the competitive-edge when you’re ready to return to work.
When a full-time, permanent position isn’t on the horizon consider contracting. Working as a contractor can be lucrative, but keep in mind that you will be responsible for superannuation, workers’ compensation and insurances, so you’ll need to work out the costs involved and negotiate your salary accordingly. You’ll also need to budget for times when you are in-between contracts. It may not be the security you’re looking for in a career, but it will lessen the stress and urgency of finding a job and will keep your skills up-to-date.
In addition to the feel-good factor of working for a charity you’re passionate about, you can also put your skills to work and build your experience and portfolio. If you’re in marketing, you could use your skills to create a digital marketing plan for a charity you care about. Or if your specialty is IT, upgrade a website. Take a look at Volunteering Queensland for opportunities in your industry to keep your skills fresh during time off from a paid position.
Taking on a temping job is an excellent way to bridge the gap between being out of work and finding a permanent position that’s a perfect fit. This type of work takes the pressure off taking the first job that comes along. You are being paid without the commitment, so you can take your time to seek out the best opportunities. A temping job is different to contracting, as you are a temporary employee of a company, so you are paid entitlements, such as superannuation, workers’ compensation and insurances. If temping work appeals, submit your C.V to one of the many temping agencies Australia-wide, such as Side Kicker.
If you’ve ever dreamed of starting a business now is an excellent opportunity to make it a reality. The benefits of freelancing are numerous, including flexibility in working hours – perfect for families – you choose your projects, no commute – work from home – and the potential to choose how much you earn. Whether you’re interested in turning your freelancing into full-time business or a casual hobby, you can keep your skills fresh while making extra money in-between permanent work.
Speaking Engagements, Consulting or Writing
If you have a skill or specialised knowledge that others would like to learn you might find work teaching, coaching, lecturing, consulting or writing manuals. You could talk to university students about your work experience or industry, present at industry-related seminars or consult with businesses that require your expertise. If you write well, there is also opportunity to turn your experience and knowledge into books or training manuals. When you’re looking to fill C.V gaps it pays to think outside the square!
Don’t underestimate the value of contributing to your community, whether it’s coaching your daughter’s touch football team, assisting in your child’s classroom or tackling environmental issues in your neighbourhood. These projects all add value to your C.V by showing potential employers that you are positively contributing to society. If your community involvement is not directly related to your industry or job description you can put in in a separate category, such as ‘Community Involvement’.
It can be difficult to get back to work after significant time away but keeping your hand in by volunteering, accepting contract or temporary work or becoming involved in community work shows potential employers that your skills are still relevant. So, start filling those gaps to capitalise on your future employment opportunities.