Navigating the Career Gap: Tales of Rediscovery After a Hiatus

Trivena GV
3 min readFeb 1, 2024
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Introduction:

Embarking on a gap year in one’s career journey is often an unexpected detour that brings forth a multitude of challenges. Whether it’s due to closing a business, as in my case, or the life-changing event of welcoming a new member into the family, these pauses can significantly impact one’s professional trajectory. In this article, we’ll explore the stories of individuals who have faced the daunting task of re-entering the workforce after a career hiatus.

The Entrepreneurial Setback:

Three years into running my own business, the unexpected closure of our team left me at a crossroads. Suddenly thrust into the job market, I found myself confronted with unforeseen challenges. As I navigated the application process for corporate roles, a recurrent theme emerged — the fear that my previous entrepreneurial stint would make me an unsuitable candidate for mid-level positions. Prospective employers hesitated, concerned that my experience as a “boss” would hinder my ability to seamlessly integrate into a more traditional work setting.

The Struggle for Relevance:

This frustration echoes a common sentiment shared by many women who have taken a hiatus from their careers after giving birth. Just as I found myself grappling with preconceived notions about my adaptability, mothers face similar challenges. The confidence to re-enter the workforce after focusing on raising children often wavers, leading to a daunting job search.

Rejection and Resilience:

The stories of career interruptions due to pregnancy, childbirth, or entrepreneurial setbacks are remarkably similar. Both groups face the uphill battle of overcoming rejection and regaining confidence in their professional abilities. Many report feeling overlooked and dismissed, their resumes overlooked due to the perceived gap in their career timelines.

Conversations with Returnees:

In delving into this topic, I had the opportunity to speak with several individuals who successfully navigated their way back into the workforce after a career hiatus. Their stories shed light on the strategies and mindsets that contributed to their triumph over professional setbacks.

One woman, who took time off to raise her children, emphasized the importance of networking and skill refreshment during her hiatus. Another entrepreneur turned employee shared her experience of highlighting the leadership skills cultivated in her entrepreneurial venture, positioning them as an asset rather than a liability.

Building Confidence:

Overcoming the skepticism of potential employers requires a conscious effort to rebuild confidence. Whether through networking, upskilling, or seeking mentorship, the journey back into the workforce demands a proactive approach. Many returnees underscored the importance of showcasing transferable skills gained during their time away, emphasizing their adaptability and resilience.

Conclusion:

The narratives of those who have faced a gap year in their careers, be it due to entrepreneurial setbacks or the demands of motherhood, resonate with a shared struggle for acceptance and recognition. The path back into the workforce is not without its challenges, but the stories of those who successfully navigated this journey offer hope and valuable insights for anyone grappling with the uncertainty of a career hiatus.

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Trivena GV

Vinyasabyvena.com | Yoga Teacher | Practice Stoic in daily life | Varies in nature and art of life | There is no one-size-fits all to live your best life