Have you been out of work for awhile? Maybe it’s been one year, maybe it’s been five, or maybe it’s been ten or fifteen years. The longer you’re out of work, whether because of the bad economy or personal choices, the harder it is to get your resume past recruiters. Most recruiters see so many job applications that it’s easy for them to discard resumes with a big time gap. Some recruiters and companies are worried that you won’t be able to commit to the job since you’ve been out of the workforce for so long.
There are a lot of ways to try to improve your career. One of these options to consider is to do a returnship. A returnship is like an internship, but it’s for people who already have the educational background and workplace experience and have been out of work for a couple of years. Here are a few reasons that if you have been out of work for awhile, you might want to apply for a returnship:
Testing Out the Workplace
One of the reasons why a paid returnship is worth considering is because it gives you the opportunity to test out your return to the workplace. This is especially important if you’re not sure whether you and the company will make a good fit. If you have the luxury of choosing whether or not to stay in a job, a returnship will allow you to do so.
Refamiliarizing Yourself with Working
If you’ve been out of the workplace for a long time, it’s going to take some time to get used to working again. It’s not just getting used to working for one particular company, but the idea of getting up at a certain time, commuting, and a host of other issues. A returnship is a great way to help you get used to working again.
A lot of us have the misfortune to end up working at a company we initially think is wonderful but turns out to be awful. Returnships vary in length depending on the sponsoring company, but agreeing to one is a great way to get the feel of a company. You’re testing out the company just as much as they’re testing you out. You want to make sure it’s a place you’d like to work if you’re offered a full-time position.
In addition to testing out the company to make sure it’s a good fit, a returnship is also a great way to see if you’re compatible with the industry. You could have worked in medicine ten years ago, but suddenly find that it’s no longer something that works with your skills or knowledge. Most returnships are for three to six months, so this is a good way to see if you like working in the industry.
If you haven’t been out of work, you can still consider a returnship, especially if you’re considering a career change. College students often take internships to get work experience as well as discover what industries they want to work in once they graduate. If you’ve been working in one industry for years, a returnship would allow you to make that career change to see if your new industry is right for your career path.
Full Time Job
A returnship might be the first step toward achieving a full-time job at a company. If you accept the offer of a paid returnship and the company is pleased with your work performance, they could offer you the job permanently. Not all returnships lead to job offers, but many do, and it’s something to consider.
You should also consider a returnship as a way of honing your skills and experience. If you’ve been out of work or the industry for five to ten years, a lot could have changed. A returnship will allow you to catch up with new information or procedures without making you look like you’re floundering. Whether you end up staying with the company or moving elsewhere, use the returnship to learn everything you can about the ways in which the industry and the workforce has changed.
So what happens if you accept a returnship but aren’t offered a permanent job? You might want to think of the returnship as a wasted opportunity, but it’s anything but that! For one, it adds recent activity to your resume, which will definitely stand out to employers and recruiters. It will show that you’re determined to jump back into the workforce.
If you’re in a bad financial situation, you might want to take a paid returnship because it is a paycheck. Sometimes people can’t be picky about the job they take, especially if they’re having difficulty finding one or returning to work. Just remember that a paid returnship is offering you money and hopefully benefits. Anyone who is on a tight budget can appreciate a paycheck to lighten their load.
Another reason why you should consider a returnship is because it might be your only choice for a smooth transition back into the workforce. There are a lot of people currently out of work who have spent a couple of years trying to find a stable job. A returnship might help you get back into the industry and make some contacts. You might not be doing the exact job you expected to return to, but you can always just use it as a stepping stone.
(Photo courtesy of lorenzolambertino)