Life is complex and for any number of reasons, unforeseen or otherwise, you step out of the workforce. The length of time away from your career varies depending on why you left, but if you find yourself wanting to return, it can feel insurmountable. Technology is changing, company cultures are evolving, and younger people are now in roles you once held.
At a certain point, you’re past the stage of interning, but need some experience that can catch you up with the current labor climate. That’s where returnships come into play.
A returnship is a program for experienced adults who have been absent from the workforce but are interested in jump starting their careers again. As a participant, you spend a predetermined amount of time working for a company, gain valuable experience that updates your skills and revives your resume, and possibly receive a small amount of pay. Many of those details will differ depending on the company.
While the concept is relatively fresh in the workforce, big companies like Goldman Sachs offer a returnship for a select number of applicants, along with hundreds of other companies worldwide. A returnship isn’t the right fit for everyone, but there are some benefits to consider.
For one, you’ll learn new skills. Not only does this include the latest technology, but office expectations. Soft skills have become more essential to workplace success than they once were, which could be a change from what you remember. Maybe more people are working remotely or standing at their desks or other seemingly odd behaviors. A returnship helps normalize everything that’s changed since you’ve been working.
A returnship provides the opportunity to network. There will most likely be other people participating in the returnship and you might be assigned a mentor at the company who will guide your experience. A returnship provides the chance to relearn how to build professional relationships.
With such a long absence, you might wonder if the field you left is still the right one for you. This is another avenue returnships can help you explore—career options. You’re making a commitment to work for a company in a returnship, but at the end, if you didn’t like it, you can explore a different field. On the other hand, you might find it’s the perfect fit. Returnships sometimes lead to full-time employment, but this is an expectation you can discuss with the employer.
If you think a returnship would boost your career path, it’s worth investigating which companies offer this program. You’ll want to make sure your resume is up-to-date (we can help).
You can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and work with a career advisor to update your resume. Call 602-535-4444 to find a center near you or visit our locations page.
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