Return to Work After Having an Extended Unemployment Gap

Overcoming huge employment gaps requires obtaining knowledge about occupations that are in high demand, as well as having the ability to assess and merge job interests with talents. Whether you've taken off time to raise kids, get well, or try a different path in life, getting back to work after a long-term out of usual employment can be challenging. Here are some suggestions to help you.


  1. Focus on your new direction.
    • Do you still want to have the career you had prior to a break?
    • Are you willing to do some more studies, even bridging studies?
    • Have you developed new skills in the time you've taken off that you'd rather pursue now over your old career?
  2. Seek a comprehensive vocational assessment. This should include the completion of a career interest survey, and aptitude testing followed by an analysis of such data against the current job market and occupations that are in high demand.
  3. Search for jobs through the local newspaper. This remains a successful strategy that should be utilized; however, use of job banks can be very promising as is the state Employment Service Office for job leads.
  4. Check government websites. These should not be overlooked as a valuable source for federal, state, county, and municipal employment opportunities.
  5. Look at other online places.
    • Look for job banks.[1]
    • Look for sites that let you explore career options, vocational planning, and job placement.[2]
  6. Be aware of the current top fifteen (15) occupations and industries predicted to be in high demand nationwide. Naturally, there will be regional variations:
    • Occupation (Industry)Customer Service Representative (Retail),
    • Registered Nurses (Health Care),
    • Personal & Home Care Aides (Health Care),
    • Home Health Aides (Health Care),
    • Computer Software Engineers,
    • Applications (Information Technology),
    • Counter & Rental clerks (Hospitality, Retail),
    • Computer Systems Analysts (Information Technology),
    • Management Analysts (Other In-Demand Occupations),
    • Medical Assistants (Health Care),
    • Network Systems & Data Communications Analysts,
    • Information Technology,
    • Preschool Teachers (Education),
    • Amusement & Recreation Attendants (Hospitality),
    • Pharmacy Technicians (Health Care),
    • Bill & Account Collectors (Other In-Demand Occupations).