How to reframe a career gap into a “career re-focus”

by Nov 29, 2022

Reframe a career gap

Consider how you can turn the gap in your paid employment history into a strength or a learning experience and reframe a career gap into a career re-focus

A gap: “a break or hole in an object or between two objects.” or “an incomplete or deficient area” or “a break in continuity”

Focus (attention or resources) on something NEW or DIFFERENT.

A work hierarchy has always existed. The primary split has been between work carried on inside and outside the home, which has always been perceived as being of higher value. This then became related to the gender hierarchy, as women worked in the home (for free) and men outside it for financial compensation.

Because we value compensation-driven work to be more important than unpaid work, we call anything outside that framework a career GAP. Doesn’t matter what your doing, but if it’s outside the workplace, it’s a gap. There is nothing there, and it doesn’t count.  Women tend to be the ones taking these “gaps” and bend themselves every way to Sunday to try and explain away that “worthless time.”  Because that is the way they have been made to feel. Or they become too intimidated even to try to return.

This is enforced by the professional platform LinkedIn where the algorithm gives priority to full-time roles and corporate jobs. Of course, they do… it’s a male-run and dominated social media channel.

Reframe a career gap

reframe a career gap

Now is the time to reframe a career gap into a career re-focus. Concentrate on the

🎯skills you have gained

🎯impact of those lived experiences

🎯lessons you have learned

Tips to reframe a career gap

Consider how you can turn the gap in your paid employment history into a strength or a learning experience. You will certainly be asked about it in an interview.

  • 1. Reflect on your career break

    Just because you have not been working in a corporate environment for a period, whether 10 years or 10 months does not mean that you have not learned to earn new skills. Make a point of reflecting on that time of refocusing make a list of your transferable skills.

  • 2. Work out your goals and development needs

    A career break can be a good time to explore exactly what you are looking for both in the longer term ( say 5 years) and in the short term. Ideally, anything you do immediately should be aligned with your longer-term goals. If you are still on a break examine the skills you need to work on or acquire to meet those goals.

  • You can explore different re-skilling options such as online courses, classes, traineeships, and apprenticeships. LinkedIn offers a month’s free access to the course with LinkedIn premium. Just remember to cancel your credit card before the next debit.


  • 3. Be persistent

    This may be a slow process. We are in an economic downturn so be patient. Set up a good support network to get you through any difficult challenges. Your career gap does not define you so you have to find ways to turn it into an asset. Own your achievements and transferable skills.


  • 4. Prepare to step out of your comfort zone

    Yes, everything you do may now make you feel uncomfortable. There will be many things to adapt to. It may be putting on a professional wardrobe every day or commuting or dealing with new technologies and new systems.


Take charge of the things you can control

Reframe a career gap

I talked to a woman last week who referred to herself as “stepping back” from her career. She had taken on a volunteer role in an impactful N.G.O and expanded its presence in Europe.

Another woman I talked with had become a full-time carer.

A third just took a break for no other reason than she needed to escape a toxic environment.

Learn how to navigate the many, often invisible, barriers that you face as a woman with our specialised Career Coaching for Women.

Quick lessons:

Take charge of the only thing you can control. YOU.

  • Reframe those self-sabotaging negative thoughts.
  • Challenge the bias of anyone who goes down that path
  • Own your stories

But you are not alone. What we are seeing now is a shift, especially from younger workers that life satisfaction does not always have to come from your role as an employee. This is why we have had global movements such as the “Great Resignation and “Quiet Quitting.” Many people want more.

It clearly helps overall to have meaningful work, but one of the 7 Ikigai needs is “freedom to choose”. So now is the time to make the decisions which suit you best.

Choose wisely!


Do you need help refocusing your career? Contact 3Plus now!



Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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