The New York Times Magazine ran a long article this week about the regret that many women in the opt-out generation seem to be feeling 10 years out. IT consultants, IT recruiters, and IT managers can all learn a thing or two from their experiences—both their successes and missteps. While maternity or paternity leave and longer, unpaid absences from work might be less common in information technology due to the vast array of telecommuting options, it is still a choice for IT professionals and technical recruiters. Is it ok to opt out for a while—and will you still be eligible for IT jobs when you are ready to return? Here are some tips to make your time out of the IT workforce less risky.
A key to the successful return to work of some of the women in the Times piece was to keep their network alive if they did leave the workforce for a bit. Whether or a woman or man leaving IT to take care of children for a bit, keeping connections in the field is just as important as having resumes polished and ready to go when you begin job hunting again.
Another important way to lessen risk when leaving the IT field for a longer period of time is to keep skills sharp with classes and relevant volunteering. Taking classes to keep certifications fresh and stay abreast of new technologies will make you more marketable even if you’ve stayed out of the workforce for a long time. Volunteering your IT skills will make you even more marketable. A recent survey noted that field-specific philanthropic work can make candidates particularly tempting to hire and doing this as a less time-consuming alternative to work does the double duty of adding to your appeal while demonstrating your continued ability to contribute in an IT capacity.
AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.