Re-entering the workforce after a career break can be an exciting yet challenging journey. Returnships offer a structured and supportive pathway to help professionals transition back into their careers, but preparing for a returnship is crucial to make the most of this opportunity. Here are essential tips and resources to help you prepare effectively for your returnship and ensure a successful re-entry into the professional world.

Understanding Returnships

A returnship is a temporary, paid position designed for experienced professionals who have taken an extended career break. These programs typically last from a few months to a year and provide participants with opportunities to refresh their skills, gain new experiences, and rebuild professional networks.

Essential Tips for Preparing for Your Returnship

  1. Assess Your Skills and Identify Gaps
  • Self-Evaluation: Take stock of your current skills and identify any gaps that need to be addressed. Reflect on your previous roles, responsibilities, and achievements to understand your strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Industry Trends: Research the latest trends and developments in your industry. Understanding current best practices and emerging technologies will help you identify the skills you need to update.
  1. Refresh Your Skills
  • Online Courses: Enroll in online courses and certifications to refresh your skills and learn new ones. Platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy offer a wide range of courses in various fields.
  • Workshops and Webinars: Attend industry workshops, webinars, and conferences to stay updated with the latest knowledge and network with professionals in your field.
  1. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
  • Highlight Relevant Experience: Update your resume to highlight your relevant experience, skills, and achievements. Include any activities during your career break, such as volunteering, freelancing, or continuing education.
  • Professional Summary: Craft a compelling professional summary that emphasizes your expertise, career goals, and readiness to return to the workforce.
  • LinkedIn Profile: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and showcases your skills, experience, and professional interests. Connect with colleagues, mentors, and industry professionals to expand your network.
  1. Prepare for the Interview Process
  • Common Questions: Be ready to discuss your career break, why you took it, and what you’ve done to stay current. Practice answering behavioral questions that highlight your adaptability and problem-solving skills.
  • Mock Interviews: Conduct mock interviews with a friend, mentor, or career coach to build confidence and receive constructive feedback.
  1. Build and Leverage Your Network
  • Reconnect with Former Colleagues: Reach out to former colleagues, mentors, and industry contacts to let them know you’re re-entering the workforce. They can provide valuable support, advice, and potential job leads.
  • Professional Groups: Join professional groups and associations related to your industry. Participate in events, discussions, and networking opportunities to expand your connections.
  1. Research Returnship Programs
  • Target Companies: Identify companies that offer returnship programs aligned with your career goals. Research their program structures, training opportunities, and success rates.
  • Application Deadlines: Keep track of application deadlines and requirements for returnship programs you’re interested in. Ensure you submit your applications on time and meet all criteria.
  1. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
  • Define Your Objectives: Determine what you want to achieve during your returnship, such as updating specific skills, gaining industry experience, or securing a permanent role.
  • Communicate with Your Supervisor: Once you start your returnship, communicate your goals and expectations with your supervisor. Regularly seek feedback to stay on track and make the most of your experience.

Essential Resources for Preparing for Your Returnship

  1. Online Learning Platforms
  • Coursera: Offers courses and certifications in various fields, including business, technology, and personal development.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Provides video courses taught by industry experts, covering a wide range of professional skills.
  • Udemy: Offers affordable courses on diverse topics, from technical skills to personal development.
  1. Professional Organizations and Groups
  • Industry Associations: Join relevant industry associations to access resources, networking opportunities, and professional development events.
  • LinkedIn Groups: Participate in LinkedIn groups related to your field to connect with professionals, join discussions, and stay updated on industry trends.
  1. Career Coaching and Mentorship
  • Career Coaches: Consider working with a career coach to receive personalized guidance, support, and strategies for re-entering the workforce.
  • Mentorship Programs: Look for mentorship programs within your industry or through professional organizations. Mentors can provide valuable advice, feedback, and networking opportunities.
  1. Job Search Platforms
  • LinkedIn Jobs: Search for returnship opportunities and connect with recruiters and hiring managers.
  • Glassdoor: Read company reviews, salary information, and find job openings for returnships.
  • Indeed: Explore returnship programs and apply for positions that match your skills and career goals.
  1. Networking Events and Conferences
  • Industry Conferences: Attend industry conferences and events to learn about the latest trends, network with professionals, and discover returnship opportunities.
  • Webinars and Workshops: Participate in webinars and workshops to gain knowledge, skills, and connections relevant to your returnship.


Preparing for a returnship requires a proactive approach to refresh your skills, update your resume, and build your professional network. By assessing your skills, leveraging online learning platforms, reconnecting with your network, and setting clear goals, you can make the most of your returnship experience. Utilize the resources available to you and approach your returnship with confidence and enthusiasm. With the right preparation, you can successfully transition back into the workforce and achieve your career goals.