Reskilling or taking up an Internship or Returnship program has become the most popular way forward for women who have taken up a career break. In India, we find that at least 36% of women take a break for various reasons. Most of these women would like to come back to a professional environment but find it very difficult to get a break-thru.

Though not all of these women lack confidence, employers tend to look upon them as people who have not been in touch with the ever-changing streams. The availability of the energetic youngsters who graduate every year also complicates the situation.

Though the experience of the people who have taken a career break is very valuable to the organizations, the employers have a tendency to consider them as liabilities. What some of the organizations forget is that, this is the stream of people who are more matured, settled in life and are looking at a long-term career for themselves. Investing in them is actually going to be a win-win situation for the companies.

The solution to this fiasco is to prove to the recruiters that you are up-to-date and that you can exceed their expectations, is by upgrading your skills to the relevant technology or career stream in your respective areas. Take up certifications from renowned groups in your relevant streams.

Sometimes it does happen that even if you have reskilled yourself, you do not end up attracting the recruiter’s attention, especially if your career gap is more or if you are above the age of 35. The non-availability of flexible work hours could be another constraint for many.  In that case, taking up an internship or return ship program would be of help to you. The remuneration is the price that you may have to pay to get your break thru in the organization.

Internships / Returnship

Internship programs are projects offered by employers with many flexible options. It can be full time, part time, with job offer, for a specific duration etc. Though these programs cater mainly to students who are looking forward towards gaining practical experience, there are many internships being aimed at women who have taken a career break. Some organizations offer a stipend; some others negotiate the payment based on the individual’s experience and terms & conditions.

For instance, Internship and Online training platform Internshaala has the ‘Internship for Women’ program to help women restart their career.

Returnship programs are very similar to Internships and are offered by employers to experienced professionals who have taken a career break. They usually pay a stipend and will provide training during the return ship period, and placement services at the end of the return ship program. Some of the popular returnship programs in the technology sector are offered by IBM India, Infosys, Visual BI, Amazon India, Vapasi Thoughtworks, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs etc.

It is not just women, but a lot of men also take breaks for various reasons. Despite the challenges, with determination and persistence and with a good support system, there are many opportunities available now to make your re-entry a more plausible one. Make the best out of it and let the world be yours!

You may like to read other articles written by this author ‘The power of assertive communication‘,9 effective tips for writing a resume’, ‘Important interview skills to land your dream job‘, ‘10 Easy Tips to Staying Motivated‘, ‘Knowing yourself will lead to true success‘ , ‘ Goal Planning Tips‘ , ‘ Financial Stability – A basic Necessity for every Women

About the author:

Sudha Divakar – A proud stay at home mom. She has worked in the IT industry for 15 years and has taken a break to take care of her priorities. She is an avid reader and enjoys watching movies with her tiny tots at home. She believes that life is full of beauty and must be lived one day at a time.

(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)

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