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UMGC Career Connection Navigating Career Re-entry: Job Searching or Continuing Education After a Hiatus

UMGC Career Services
By UMGC Career Services

Returning to work or pursuing further education after a hiatus may seem daunting, but it's entirely achievable. Whether you're aiming to land your dream job or seeking additional qualifications, strategic planning is key. Here's a concise guide to help you navigate this transition.

Determining Your Goals

Even if you are coming back to school or looking to set upon a totally new career path when getting back into the workforce, it serves you best to have an idea of the direction you want to travel to further professional goals. As you explore various possibilities of career paths, research courseloads, or even UMGC’s degree requirements, you need to consider what you’d like your career to look like while also considering your personal needs and wants. The longer you have been on your hiatus probably the more you have either set things into place or found out exactly what won’t work for you.

Researching Job Markets

Research industry sectors you are suited for and interested in to learn about growing, shrinking, or evolving job opportunities. Consider the changes that may have occurred in the job market during your hiatus and explore certifications and further education options offered by UMGC. There is also a score of jobs requiring certification and further education than you may have initially earned; search what we offer regarding these certificates to our graduate students and undergrads.  An afternoon spin across websites in your field will update your intel on current market trends.

Updating Your Resume

Given the rapidly changing landscape of modern industry, the time to update your resume was yesterday. This single document is usually your first contact with a potential employer, so lead with your best efforts. Numerous programs on the web can help you build a compelling resume.

Meeting With Professionals

Network with professionals and alums in your field or ones completely new to you while working on further education at UMGC or in the job market. Joining the UMGC Alumni LinkedIn group alone gives you access to over 16,000 fellow alums and students. You also can grow your network and connect with UMGC alumni through the CareerQuest portal. Networking with professionals in different fields can provide valuable insights into how others approach their jobs and why they do it.

Practice Interviewing: 3 Tips

It’s said that the number one fear most of us have is speaking in front of a large group of people, but plenty of us dread meeting one-on-one, specifically when being interviewed for a job. presents their deep dive on how best to prepare for a job interview. In addition, below are three essential tips you should consider, especially if it’s been a while since you went through the interview process.

1. Addressing Employment Gaps:

  • Clearly explain reasons for your hiatus.
  • Emphasize relevant activities during your break.
  • Express enthusiasm for returning to work or education.

2. Preparing for Virtual Interviews:

  • Set up a clean and quiet space for virtual interviews.
  • Dress professionally and create a professional atmosphere.
  • Be prepared for remote work if applicable to the position.

3. Demonstrating Conceptual Problem-Solving:

  • Showcase your ability to offer creative solutions.
  • Exhibit strategic thinking beyond your role.

View your time away from school or a career as regrouping, a respite in which you reset goals, as an opportunity to grow and learn. Impress this perspective upon potential employers as well as your mindset if returning for further education. You’re back now; let the world know it!