Career Breaks != Skill Gaps

Career Breaks != Skill Gaps

There's a lot of stigma associated with career breaks. This especially affects women much more than men as they are more likely to take a break for maternity, childcare and other reasons.

I think hiring managers/recruiters should realise that the time spent by such people shouldn't be considered as time lost/wasted but rather as time spent learning and practicing a different set of skills.

When I joined Thoughtworks, I was a direct beneficiary of having such a person in my team. She was a new mother who had just returned after her maternity break and saw me struggling to manage a release that I had signed up for. She was patient, reassuring and helped me come up with an effective plan. Any time I felt nervous, I would talk to her and come out of our discussion with a clearer head.

Another such colleague, that I've had the joy of mentoring, has done such amazing work that her teammates keep gushing about how she had become an integral part of their team.

In recent years, I've had the privilege of working with many such people who had taken career breaks and seen first hand how they've returned with a set of skills that helped whichever teams they became a part.

I hope the recent increase in hiring and the crunch of talented people opens recruiters to looking more favourably at people with career breaks.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

P.S Thoughtworks India has a program(Vapasi) dedicated to helping women return to tech careers after a break.

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