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How Early Should I Start My Job Search?

Returning to work after taking a career break can be a challenging process. Whether you took a few months or several years off, re-entering the job market can feel daunting. To make the transition smoother, it’s essential to think carefully about your job search and plan ahead.

One common question among parents returning to work is, “How early should I start my job search?” In this article, we’ll explore the ideal timeline for parents looking to re-enter the workforce and offer some practical tips to increase your chances of landing the right job.

1. Assess Your Career Goals and Priorities:

road sign on quiet high street

Before diving into the job search, take some time to evaluate your career goals and priorities. Understand what type of work you are passionate about, what skills you bring to the table, and what kind of flexible work arrangement will work best for you. This self-reflection will help you focus your job search efforts on roles and companies that align with your values and aspirations.

2. Update Your Skills and Knowledge:

Returning to the workforce might require refreshing your skills or learning new ones, especially if your industry has undergone significant changes during your absence. Consider enrolling in workshops, online courses, or certifications that will bolster your resume and increase your marketability. Take a read of our article on Closing the Knowledge Gap for more details.

3. Start Networking Early:

Networking is a crucial aspect of any job search, and it becomes even more vital for parents returning to work.

Don’t forget - more than half of all jobs are filled through networks.

Begin building or rekindling professional relationships with former colleagues, friends, and industry contacts. Attend networking events, join relevant online communities, and engage in conversations related to your field of interest. These connections can provide valuable insights, job leads, and potential recommendations.

4. Polish Your CV and Cover Letter:

Crafting a compelling CV and cover letter is essential for making a positive first impression on potential employers. Highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments. Emphasise any volunteer work, freelance projects, or part-time roles you might have taken during your career break to show your continued engagement in your field.

Don’t forget our free CV review service - email your CV and/or cover letter to and we’ll be in touch to discuss your CV with you.

5. Utilise Job Search Platforms:

As your desired return-to-work date approaches, start exploring job search platforms, company websites, and online job boards. Many companies have specific programs or initiatives targeting parents returning to work, so keep an eye out for such opportunities.

man doing a plank, whilst on the computer and young girl climbing on his back

6. Prepare for Interviews:

Practice for interviews well in advance. Anticipate questions about your career gap and how you plan to manage work and family responsibilities. Use these opportunities to showcase your passion, dedication, and the skills you can bring to the table.

7. Be Flexible:

Returning to work may involve adjusting your expectations and being open to different opportunities. Flexibility in terms of job roles, work arrangements, and locations can widen your options and help you secure a job that fits your needs.

Returning to work as a parent can be an enriching and empowering experience, but it requires careful planning and preparation. Starting your job search early allows you to explore various options, update your skills, and build a strong network of professional connections. With the right mindset and strategy, you can successfully navigate your way back into the workforce and find a fulfilling career that balances both your personal and professional aspirations.

For more details on how to do any of these action points, or if you have any questions, get in touch via the Live Chat, email or phone and we will help you every step of the way!

woman walking long and winding path

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