LinkedIn is rewriting the narrative on career breaks

LinkedIn is rewriting the narrative on career breaks

 March 16, 2022

LinkedIn has introduced a Career Break function on LinkedIn Profiles to make it easier for candidates and recruiters to have open conversations around the skills and experiences professionals amass away from the traditional workplace.

Camilla Han-He, LinkedIn's Senior Product Manager for Profile & Identity Products, reflects on why it's time to rewrite the narrative on career breaks.

"If you’ve ever taken a break in your career, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, more than half of professionals have taken a career break. Yet for far too long, the possibility of embarking on a career break has been overshadowed by stigma, which 60% of people believe still exists," says Camilla.

"The good news is, sentiment around taking a career break is changing for the better: 46% of hiring managers believe candidates with career breaks are an untapped talent pool. Today, we’re introducing new tools and resources to help people re-enter the workforce after taking a career break."

A new way to reflect career breaks

Camilla explains how LinkedIn is introducing a new way to represent a career break in the Experience section of your LinkedIn Profile, with options like caregiving and health and well-being.

"Although it may feel uncomfortable to bring up with potential employers, hirers actually want to know more about your career break: 51% say they are more likely to contact a candidate that provides context," she says. 

"By adding a career break to your Profile, you can highlight how these life experiences can apply to prospective jobs. In many cases, it’s your off-your-resume experience that truly gets to the heart of your passions, gifts and strengths."

Career resources to help you take the next step

Camilla understands that navigating the transition from a career break back to the workforce can feel overwhelming. In fact, 56% of people who took a break say they felt nervous about returning to work.

If you’re ready to take the next step, Camilla shares some resources to help.

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An event of addressing career breaks

LinkedIn also organized a live event on how to address career breaks when you’re looking to re-enter the workforce. Hosted by LinkedIn Senior News Editor, Andrew Seaman and advice from career experts Audrey Daniels and Susan Davey, attendees learned best practices on how to address career breaks with hirers, effectively represent them on your Profile and land your dream job. During the session, attendees connected with others with similar experiences - a great way to start rebuilding your professional network.

Rewriting the narrative on career breaks

In her work, Camilla has seen so many stories from people who have navigated their career breaks on LinkedIn, raising awareness to this important topic and the value these experiences can bring. 

When Sydney Williams re-entered the workforce post-maternity leave, she came equipped with a new set of talents. And to showcase them, she rewrote her resume using the skills she learned from motherhood. Adaptability, empathy, collaboration, communication - Sydney’s break was one of the best career decisions she’s made.

After entering the workforce at a young age, Eric Cooper (He/Him) reached a point where he felt he could no longer perform to the best of his abilities, spurring his need for a mental health gap. During this five-month period, he sought out professional therapy, furthered his graphic design skills and most importantly, took time to have fun amidst the world we’re living in. When Eric returned to the office, he was fully prepared to dive in, and had the energy to do so once again.

For Kiersten Chresfield, navigating her multiple sclerosis diagnosis meant taking the time to recharge and reconsider her place in the workforce. As she begins to reimagine her future, she’s taking Mandarin classes, cherishing her loved ones, connecting with her body and looking for a hip-hop/afrobeat focused DJ school. Kiersten is publicly sharing each step of the way with her LinkedIn community, because she believes humanity is the most powerful force we can bring to the workplace.

"If you’re hiring, learn more about how inclusive hiring practices can help de-stigmatize taking time away from work and highlight the value candidates with career breaks can bring to your organization," says Camilla.

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