Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Sunday, February 15, 2009



Re-entering the work world, after a career break, can be both, intimidating and exhilarating. Several prospective employees, making a comeback, are often faced with challenges that other job-seekers don’t come across. Hence, to address this issue, organizations are introducing initiatives to ensure a hassle-free transition

The reasons why employees opt for a career break are plenty-to look after an ailing family member, pursue higher studies, recover from an illness, explore other cultures, or simply relax—whatever your reason for taking time off, eventually, it will be time to return to the workplace. The task of resuming work isn’t easy if you have to restart your career in an entirely new workplace. Getting back into the groove, is the biggest challenge for several employees, but organizations are willing to make their transition smooth by implementing initiatives, for the same. “Companies, today, are addressing the various complexities associated with attracting the right talent. Also, the money invested towards the process of re-employment and re-training of new employees is also exorbitant,” says Madhav Sharan, senior client partner, Korn/Ferry International.

However, in an endeavour to curb costs, several employers, today are keen on introducing ‘career break’ initiatives and are even making it a part of their organizational agenda. “Today, measures like offering favourable maternity leave policies and flexible working hours, etc. to women employees can go a long way towards instilling a sense of pride in them of being associated with a company that cares and enhancing employee motivation. However, such initiatives are not restricted to women only. Male employees, although few, are enjoying paternity leave benefits as well,” adds Sharan.

But, there are a few things that an employee must consider, while on a career break, so that the gap doesn’t affect his/her growth prospects. According to E Balaji, CEO and Director, Ma Foi Management Consultants Limited, “A professional must be mindful about the duration of the break. A career break should not be for a longer time period as getting back, after a long break, into a dynamic industry would be difficult, especially in today’s cut-throat competitive scenario. There are possibilities that the industry would have undergone a transformation and catching up with the changing trends could be a daunting task.” “Also, when a person takes a break, voluntarily, then he/she must have a plan of action for the future. This also includes plans and activities he/she would like to pursue, post the break. If the person wants to change the vertical, job role or job location, then he/she must start acquiring new skills, in a quest to fit in, easily, in the new role,” opines Desikamani, Founder and Director, Mentor Learning Services. According to industry experts, if an employee goes on a break to pursue higher studies, then he/she must ensure that he/she does it from a reputed institution as the degree/diploma will help better his/her future career prospects. “Also, it is good to maintain relations with your work world and one should constantly network through professional associations, alumni associations, e-groups, social networking sites, etc,” suggests Sharan. Also, after the break, if you are joining the same organization, don’t expect things to be the same as you had left it. Be ready to accept change. According to Desikamani, “One must be able to convince the recruiter the learnings derived during the break, more effectively. Also, if your skills are relevant and you are capable of learning, then getting back is not an issue at all.”

Getting back into the groove could be challenging but a helping hand from the organization could make the transition, a smooth one, for you!

Ref: Times of India

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