When returning to tech it is important to take time to research the market to familiarise yourself with any changes and trends, update your technical skills to ensure you have the qualities employers are looking for and ensure you showcase these skills to help you network and build your confidence. Whether you have taken a career break from a leadership position, to start a family or to care for a family member, it is beneficial to research the changes that have occurred in the tech industry during your time off to enhance your opportunities when returning to tech.
It is expected that there will be gaps in your skills and knowledge when you are returning to the industry, however there are several ways to update and fill these gaps. You can start off by identifying what skills and knowledge you need from job posts you are interested in. There are many online courses that can provide you with training in these particular skills along with programs, classes and tutorials. From this, you can recognise if you are still interested in your previous career path, or if you want to take a different one when returning to tech.
Conducted research indicates that the tech industry will need around 750,000 workers with digital skills to meet the rising demand. Tech companies in the UK are seeking tech talent and these talents can be found from returners. Almost two million women are inactive due to caring commitments in the UK, and 76% professional women on a career break want to return to work. Addressing the career break could provide a 1.7 billion economic output and for female professionals, could increase annual earnings of £4000.
Returner programmes will allow women to get back into routines with jobs to progress their careers and it can help tackle gender pay gap. Millions of people need time out of their careers, but they can find it hard to return, especially women. Not having the support available can be off putting for those who need a break and for businesses that will miss out on potential talent.
In 2014, the UK introduced returning to work programmes to help individuals who have taken a career break, and the returners schemes for tech started even later. There are two types of return programmes, returnships and supported hire programmes. Returnships are fixed term contracts that can last anywhere between 10 weeks and 6 months. The returnships provide coaching, mentoring and technical skills for those professionals looking to get back into work and it may lead to a permanent role. Whereas, supported hire programmes recruit returners into a permanent position immediately.
Most returnships involve a week induction into the company and a week of workshops which are designed to prepare returners for their day to day jobs. They can be assigned a mentor to help them with any problems that occur during their progress. Companies normally hire a few returners at a time, so they can feel part of a supported group when coming back to work and they offer flexible working times.
Read more on what is a returnship? Everything you need to know