The prospect is one of unimpressive residing, both in the context of who it concerns and for whom it can be concerning, so much so that covering up such definite, even ‘landmark’ events in what are non events in fact in the field of consideration is a ploy known to be furthered often. This though only advances further the otherwiseness of character in which such acts are received, as rampant enough avenues of attending despite their traditionally held, larger disrepute.
Resume gaps have been long frowned upon as indicators of not exactly the set standards of professionalism, despite the allowance made for it indeed within this very scheme of the professional. In fact, as the coining of the term on-ramping implies in alluding to the process of reentering the workforce, employment gaps existing along the length of your resume is then not a rarity but something acceptable enough. And yet, what prevails is a general disregard of such curated profile of the professional identity that dares to flaunt some few gaps upon the expanse of a favored continuity.
What asserts as gaping gaps upon your work proforma avails out of the less radical expressiveness of something occurring in the wider nature of a career break. The reasons itself for such interruptions assumed within the ambits of worklife can span for a diverse range of reasons. But while historically and traditionally this break opted for within the consideration of career has been a voluntary undertaking driven by necessary requirements, the more current context is one encountered in less aspired basis of it. For in the COVID-19 induced rampage of extensive effect, many such cases of career break happen to emerge as jarring narratives in the layoff kind of intending. As involuntary unemployment masquerading thus as resume gaps, the dynamics of their regarding have come to be more challenging.
The general conditions of what ekes out acceptability for resume gaps can be occurring in personal as well as professional intent. The ‘expected’ reasons then of such call that leads working people to take a break from their career pursuing stems in attributions of upskilling or familiality or healthwise causes. Somehow still, gaps upon the resume are seen as red flags by employers. The prevailing notion is one that presents as everything from unprofessionalism to insincerity or even such that might make it all boil down to a questioning of the very skills and/or employability of the individual. That, despite career break being very explicit in its understanding as not being simply a period of unemployment and the disparity in intending and receiving of this arrangement is one of obvious contention.
In some sprinkle of irony though, the pandemic stirred leveraging of career breaks as a phenomenon not anymore ‘luxuriant’ in its prospect of presenting choices is what has largely served to bridge this mismatch. The untoward nature of what has played through all along this narrative of the glaring gaps is justified now by also the reasons driving them to reality on accounts of firing and layoffs and the like. And yet, irony manifests once again through this newfound musing of worked, or rather unworked prominence as it is somehow in this same extent of happening that the disregard of resume gaps has come to be somewhat relaxed in receiving.
The reach then has expanded to assume both voluntary and inevitable scope of attending. Regardless of the premise though upon which they arise, resume gaps still call for some explanation to follow in interviews and hiring processes. This projection of the ‘intimidating’ is largely the reason why career gaps are often sought to be somehow masked or manipulated even as not definitely addressed areas of undeniable greyness then. And this only furthers the adverse notion through which such already established reds of worklife are rendered even redder in their disrepute.
But explaining being the only way around indeed this downplayer of careers, one needs to do it not just in the generally right manner but in proper professional procedure indeed. That is to say, being clear and honest about the real reason why the gap managed to find place amidst your career graph is in fact the only way to counter the skepticality that necessarily accompanies a divulgence of this piece of professionally relevant personal information.
The path seems to be rather well eked out when it comes to being accountable for a period of break that one takes indeed in all their full choice in as much fullness of logic. When justified by such reasons that are more than apparent in their definiteness as intended scouting in career development whether through institutional means in education and training or otherwise, the gaps can serve in fact your cause in professionalising. To such extents, resume gaps can even further your chances in securing such position and employment of which you are deserving and desirous.
When the break in working is one induced by voluntary still but non professional reasons in childcare or palliative care or in self recuperation for instance as well as in seemingly unaccounted for but legit still explanations in travelling or even ‘rest from burnout’, the justification too does not need to present in difficulty. The logic being that as long as one is fully aware of what they are doing even in supposedly not doing anything, they are responsible enough to be entrusted with professional work and projects.
Voluntary undertaking of career breaks too tend to be received in a better light at least in the present day world since such periods are almost always utilised to further one’s scope and knowledge of working even when they might not be exactly undertaken in such active assertion. Discussing then the gap that posits itself as challenging nonetheless when writ large upon your work resume can be well accounted for by confident presenting of one’s point.
Use indeed this opportunity to dwell upon the many works that you have done during this break. Volunteering fares more than well than you would have thought within such consideration which is why such works should be proudly presented as valuable additions to your career profile. This means also that even if you find yourself in the lurch in being fired from your job or quitting without particularly explainable a reason, this should be the cue you take and offer therefore to volunteer.
Not just volunteering though, pretty much every reason that leads career breaks to be opted for can be pursued also by those finding themselves without a job as something outside their consideration. This helps the future career prospects indeed and makes also accounting for resume gaps in all confidence emerge as a more credible proposition.
The edge might also be explored in employment gaps being asserting of the goals and aspirations that you harbour as personal curations of how your perfect professional life needs to unfold. Proceeding then to take full authority in knowing exactly why this gap manifests as necessary in your career because you had been actively looking only the kind of job that you definitely know you wanted and not just settling for anything that came your way. That itself is quite impressive a statement to make in setting straight your priorities and communicating as well in as clear terms the kind of work you aspire to do.
And that strikes also a right chord with the ones reviewing your resume and interviewing you since one, it of course is your confidence playing through this narrative. Second it also appeals in the nature of deeming your prospective employer as attending to your requirements- something that adds value to your perceiving of the position considered for. Either way, it’s a win then and one significant as well in building up on the precarious premise of a career red flag.
Acknowledging therefore your career gap(s) is the first step in ‘overcoming’ the reds of its receiving. Instead of shying away or straight out lying about the fact that you took a break and trying to avert any discussion on the topic understandably of concern to employers, the right approach is one that has you dealing with whatever it is that is posed in whole truthfulness and even more whole a play of confidence.
Confidence might not exactly be deliverable in such cases that has an employment gap emerge as an unplanned, forced decision thrust upon you. While layoffs might be relatively convenient to reason in explaining the resume gap since they generally are ‘mass events’ undertaken by the company due to their liability and not the employee’s misacting, being fired can raise quite some eyebrows even when one makes effort to account for that strand of their occurrence. The effort then needs to be redirected in accounting instead for the strengths that can effectively market your professional potential.
This means that instead of desperately trying to prove your worth in working which might fall flat considering you had been sacked from your previous job, it might be wise on your part to emphasise on the duration of your previous records in employment. Because frequent job hopping too happens to be as threatening a flagging of the reds in the professional jargon, you can find ways to ‘mitigate’ an undoable action of the career gap for instance by balancing it out as a stable employee perhaps.
Career breaks might be unavoidable, even desired chunks in what ultimately sums up your professional identity despite their essence being one not yet particularly resplendent in recognition. Which is why one should always make sure that they have something that definitely explains such gap or acquire such skills that makes them more attractive elements of the workforce than even otherwise reputed consistent presences in this realm.
While it does not make much sense indeed particularly in this time and age that hustling your way through life is the only way to be, it still is something that needs to be adequately considered if you are someone looking indeed for employment. The rules of the world take time to change and adapt and till that happens in scripting a utopia of existence, one can find themselves better off by finding their own way in running on a parallel track of these accepted adages of existence.