Carers – Returning to Project Management

I’ve taken a couple of years off to care for a relative. Now I’m finding it impossible to get back into a project management role. Any advice?

Hopefully you are making it clear on your résumé what you have been doing for the last few years. Hirers don’t like to see unexplained gaps and would prefer to see something rather than nothing. Depending on the types of roles you have been applying for, there could be some problems with trying to gain the same level of role you held previously. If hirers have two résumés with similar experiences and skills, with one candidate with a gap and one without, they always will prefer the one without—it’s human nature, unfortunately.

Think about lowering your expectations a little. Taking a small step back now to regain the lost ground actually might be a good way to ease back into something with less responsibility or lower-risk projects—just until you get back into the swing of things. You also should make sure your learning and development is up to date.

Also get out and about. Attend networking events, seminars and chapter meetings to help you find potential opportunities in your area and to help understand what’s been happening in project management over the last few years.

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