The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Use that Employment Gap to your advantage

Goal bridgeThis is Laura Lee Rose, a business and efficiency coach that specializes in professional development, time management, project management and work-life balance strategies.  The Professional Development Toolkit package covers professional development and real-world IT topics in detail. If you are interested in inexpensive training in these areas,get signed up

I recently received the following questions:
  • How can a job seeker best explain gaps in their resume?
  • What’s the best way for a job seekers to jump back into the workforce after an absence – either planned or otherwise?
  • How does one build confidence after you have been out of work for some time.
Gaps in a resume could be in a couple of forms:

1) an employment gap (out of work)

2) working away from your chosen profession  (not your chosen industry or position)

Even if you have been continually working, but not working in your chosen field or industry, you may feel nervous about applying for that new job.

The best way to build confidence after you have been out of work for some time, is to actually accomplish tangible and tactile things while you are out of work.   Identify your goals for self-improvement in regards to health, education, presentation skills, networking, and family.  Then accomplish those goals.  Most employers like to hire self-motivated people that can solve their own problems.  By using this gap in employment for some self-assessment and self-improvement (while you are still job searching) is a good use of your time.

Since the main reason for employer’s hesitation in an employment gap is the ability to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing technology, the best advice is to stay relevant regardless of what type or how the gap occurred.  You can do this by:

  • Use the gap to learn a new skill, achieve a certification or license
  • Stay active in your profession by volunteering your services to nonprofits or service communities
  • Teach at a local community college,
  • Create online courses in your field of expertise.
  • Speak at local professional organizations or conferences
  • Write articles, blogs or ebooks in your field of expertise
  • Develop YouTube presentations, demos or prototypes as proof of your new skill set.
  • Create a portfolio or press kit of your accomplishments during the gap
Then update your resume with your new skills and links to your articles, videos, apps, etc.
The employer’s fear of the “gap” is that you have fallen out of touch with your field.  If you can show that you have sharpened your skills (during the gap), then you have tangible evidence that you are not only still relevant in your field but an expert.

In the Professional Toolkit, I provide worksheet, templates and guidance on how to accomplish these things.    In my Book of Answers: 105 Career Critical Situations, I have 105 work-life scenarios like the above.  The scenarios show how to accomplish your goals in similar situation.
For more information on how to get this toolkit or the “Book of Answers“, please contact


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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