Many fear the dreaded employment gap. But, considering the current economic downturn, do potential employers even care? It’s easy to feel down if you’ve been laid off or furloughed recently. And you may be unpleasantly surprised to learn despite not being deemed “essential,” hiring is actually on the rise. It could feel like a lot of smoke-and-mirrors. However, the truth is that businesses are making difficult decisions to adapt to rapid industry and market changes. They are tightening up budgets and operational overhead. Simultaneously, they are evaluating organizational structure and hiring.
The future of work is here. I think it’s fair to say we’d all like to be better prepared for the digital transformation that’s upon us. While an employment gap is not the kind of news you are excited to share with your network or a potential employer, it’s also not as bad as you might think…
3 Reasons to Fall into the Employment Gap:
1. Time to Build
You’ve probably heard it before. That’s because it’s true! You’ve been given the gift of time. You can use it to build something of your own. Is there a favorite hobby that could blossom into a career? Now is the time to dream big. Perhaps photography, jewelry making, crafting, writing or real estate are things you are passionate about. Side hustles can become full time jobs when you have the available time to commit. Consider your passions for a rewarding way to fill the employment gap on your resume.
2. Time to Learn
Knowledge is power. If there is education you can benefit from, start learning! If your former role is deemed nonessential, understand why that is. Knowing what to add to your education can help you reach the next level in your career. The digital transformation is upon us. What tech-pertise or management coursework could set you apart from the competition? Taking time to learn not only voids employment gap concerns but also improves your chances for finding a job that aligns with the future of work.
3. Time to Upskill
To avoid concerns about an employment gap, invest in your skill development. Businesses are investing in rapid upskilling of their current workforce. They want to make sure their employees are equipped to meet evolving demands. By focusing on employee development, managers can assure their people and their strengths stay connected with their job functions and business mission. So, get ahead of future demand! While you have time, make a personal development goal. Then, share the details of your progress with potential employers. For example, take up chess (because let’s face it, we are all watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix). You can demonstrate your desire to improve upon your analytical and strategic thinking skills. It’s sure to impress!
Believe it or not, Talent Acquisition is a top business priority for the majority of industries across the globe. Companies are strategically seeking furloughed and laid-off talent to reinforce their talent pool. Because it’s an opportune time to connect with high-performing and high-potential talent who may not otherwise be available to hire. Which means an employment gap could actually work to your advantage. Maybe now is the time to take some time for yourself and make that next leap to benefit your career.
“Tell me about yourself,” is not just about where you’ve been. It’s about who you are. Your culture, individuality and strengths are not wholly represented by work experience. When you talk through your work history, make sure your fair to yourself. Sometimes a “current job” is being a student enrolled in an executive course or a full-time care giving responsibility. Share a narrative that speaks to your past success, present plans and future goals. Be sure to include soft skills and demonstrate your character.