Unfortunately, sometimes life forces people to take a career break or sabbatical from work. Whether a career break is planned or the result of a spur-of-the-moment event or decision, coming back can be difficult. This problem is exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down many businesses in the D.C. area.

Even with years of experience in your field, coming back to work after a lengthy absence is more of a marathon than a sprint. However, it’s imperative that you keep knocking until a door opens because having gainful employment is important to both your financial security and your self-esteem. Continue reading to learn how to come back from a sabbatical or career break.

Get professional help.

Coming back from a career break is much easier to say than do. Whether you’re taking a break for planned or unplanned reasons, you need to consult professionals who can help you gain clarity through this murky trial.

Search online for career advisors who specialize in helping people with making career transitions and coping with workplace stress. Even while you’re on your sabbatical, you need to have your next career steps in mind. Speaking with a qualified career counselor can help you to make the most of your break.

You may also want to meet with a clinical psychologist about what you’re experiencing in your career. Mental health professionals often help people to overcome obstacles that hinder their career growth and even help people to choose a career path.

Therapists in Washington DC are familiar with the challenges and pressures of being a professional in the D.C. area. Speaking with a therapist or counselor can help you to maintain your self-esteem and positive mindset while in between jobs.

Build your career skills.

While you’re on your sabbatical, you should work on making yourself more marketable within your career field. Even if you have years of experience in your industry, you can boost your career prospects by learning new skills. There are plenty of schools in the D.C. area that offer continued education for professionals. While you’re away from work, use this opportunity to improve your resume by adding new skills to your repertoire.

When you’ve already worked your way up the ladder in one career field, it’s hard to start over at the entry-level in another field. If you’re planning on changing careers, then you should consider taking a sabbatical to get the education you need to make a smooth transition.

All over the D.C. area, from Northern Virginia to Silver Spring, MD, there are schools that offer on-campus and online learning programs. These days, having a busy schedule is no reason not to get a degree. However, taking a career break will allow you to focus more of your energy towards school so you can achieve your career goals faster.

Update your resume.

Getting back into the workforce after a career break is far from the easiest thing in the world to do. The good news is that you don’t have to spend as much time filling out job applications anymore. Job searching platforms like EmploymentHub allow you to apply to different companies using your resume and the autofill feature.

Before you start putting in applications, the first thing you need to do is to update your resume. You want it to reflect the experience that you’ve gained throughout your career. Career breaks stand out like a sore thumb on resumes, so make sure that you offer a good explanation for the gap in employment.

Make sure to detail any volunteer work or schooling you did during your sabbatical. Companies love people who show that they’re productive outside of corporate America and under their own direction.

You also need to make sure that your resume has some aesthetic appeal to it as well. If it doesn’t immediately grab the attention of the hiring manager, it may get passed over.