Career breaks come with a lot of pros and cons. On the pros side, you get to work on personal projects, start or build a family, or even try entrepreneurship. However, the much-dreaded part comes after the break ends.
There is stigmatization that comes with career breaks. No matter how genuine the reasons may be, professionals face this challenge daily.
LinkedIn is helping professionals solve that problem. Their newly announced career break feature allows users to highlight the important stuff. These include the skills, perspectives, or experiences gained during their breaks.
In a blogpost, Jennifer Shappley, VP, Global Talent Acquisition at LinkedIn, said that company recently did a survey to learn more about career breaks.
“We recently surveyed nearly 23,000 workers and more than 4,000 hiring managers and found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of employees have taken a break at some point in their professional career, and just over a third (35%), mostly women, would like to take a career break in the future,” she said.
Even with the increasing popularity of career breaks, Shappley says that recruiters are less likely to give such candidates a fair shot. However, all is not grim.
The research showed that 51% of employers were likely to give a candidate a call back if they knew the context of the career break.
Alex Mooney, senior manager of DEI talent acquisition at Amazon also weighed in on the topic, highlighting the usefulness of the much-needed feature.
“When a professional pauses their career, the decision is not taken lightly and we believe that restarting a career should not be as challenging as some find it to be. LinkedIn’s Career Breaks will help recruiters more easily identify talented professionals who are on a break and align them to opportunities such as the Amazon Returnship Program,” he said.
The feature will also be available for hiring managers in LinkedIn Recruiter, where they can get to see the life experiences and skills that people gained during their career breaks.
“Over half (56%) of employees say they acquired new skills or improved existing ones — such as problem-solving, communication, and budgeting — during their career break. And over half (54%) of women say they are better at their job than they were before,” Shappley noted.
It is great to see that LinkedIn is pushing boundaries to make it easier for jobseekers to land jobs. If you have had a career break, this is a perfect time to test out the feature!