Cody Szeto is director of the IT&T, engineering, supply chain and procurement divisions at Kelly Services Hong Kong.
Resuming your banking career after a maternity break may be daunting, but there’s no reason why you can’t jump right back in
Before taking time out to raise my son, who is now two, I was an executive in the banking sector working in compliance. Short of contacting my old firm, how should I go about returning to the industry in Hong Kong and assuring potential employers I am as capable and valuable as I was previously? I’d like to enter interviews confidently, but feel as though re-joining the working world may be more difficult than I had thought.
Although many companies have frozen their headcounts, we believe there’s still demand for compliance roles. In preparing yourself to re-enter the job market, you may want to reconnect with related professional associations and networks, participate in professional webinars, and read about the latest updates on market knowledge and changes in regulations.
Before you start your job search, you should ask yourself whether you want to return aggressively or slowly ease back in. If you are looking for a permanent full-time job and are ready to commit to working the same way as before, then now’s the time to kick things into action.
You may approach jobs that require your area of expertise, not only in banks but also in related financial institutions, or even consulting firms that provide professionals services to these organisations. If you are looking for a better work-life balance, I’d suggest you consider expanding your search scope.
Consider jobs with more flexible hours in return for less compensation or even on a contract basis. It may be easier to get in for short-term or contract assignments, as most banks are tight with their permanent headcounts. On the other hand, you may want to explore alternative career opportunities that require compliance-related knowledge.
Regardless of the path you take, you should be confident in your job search and interviews as you have a justifiable reason for your career break. Any good, mature bosses or human resources professionals, especially those with families themselves, should see your situation as a course of nature.
The most important is whether you can prove to them your commitment to work. On your CV, you may also want to include the latest professional webinars or courses you have taken. This will show potential employers your sincerity and eagerness to resume your career.
At interviews, be confident and let your personality and passion shine. Employers are not only looking for professional skills and experiences, but personality. Do your research thoroughly and prepare yourself well for your interviews.
I wish you the best in the second spring of your career.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Read up, re-tool and you're ready to resume your career.