Employment Gaps No Longer Career Killer
In the 20th century, employment gaps in your job history could be a career killer. Then came the economic volatility following 9/11. No sooner did the professional world recover from that, then came The Great Recession. As the economy climbs out of that dark hole, the new normal has become uncertainty and upheaval in just about every industry.
Consequently, the gaps don't get you automatically knocked out of the box in a job search. However, you are expected to be prepared to address them, reports Kelly Eggers in Fins.com. The trick is to make your explanation create value for you during the interview process.
Therefore, you should develop a strategic plan for how to position and package what you did, why you did it, and what benefit you derived when out of the work force. The benefit should translate into an edge you're bringing to employers.
In the Fins.com article, career coach Roy Cohen recommends to frame the gap as a mixed bag, not just a monolith. That opens the door for you to present the period of time as a platform for any number of activities that you show enhance your usefulness to employers. Those might include travel to Russia, a market the company wants to penetrate; fundraising for breast cancer research which relates to the company's product lines for women; and developing a Web business, a plus since the company is involved with social media.
All this reinforces the wisdom of the adage that it isn't what happens to you but how you handle it. Gaps can be transformed into sources of added value.
Jane Genova, coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializes in transitions. Her talk on professional shifts at the New York State Bar Association has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY. Her latest book is OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. She blogs on the subject at http://janegenova.com, http://lawandmore.typepad.com, http://careertransitions.typepad.com and http://over-50.typepad.com.more...