I once talked with a man who had been a stay-at-home dad for seven years but needed to go back to work.
He had been the Chief Financial Officer at a company. His wife died in childbirth, leaving him with two special-needs twin boys. As he was in a good financial position, he decided to quit his job to take care of his sons.
He had the support of his family and friends. But some acquaintances told him that he should instead hire a nanny and go back to his job since he made good money.
Seriously? Were people saying this to him directly? Yes. I was appalled. How he handled a family crisis wasn’t their business anyway!
But sometimes hiring managers are guilty of this same point of view about gaps in employment. There are some clear examples.
- Many families have special needs children, but they are not sure how much to reveal in an interview. For this father, taking time for professional development or volunteer work to fill that gap wasn’t realistic.
- Many families also have parents with special needs. My mother had Alzheimer’s. I needed to work part-time for four years, so I was very careful about how I made commitments to my clients. Beyond that, it was nobody’s business what I did during that period of time.
If you do have a gap in your employment, you will probably be asked about it in an interview. Strategize on what you want to say. You don’t need to reveal anything too personal, but you will need to say something.
I am an interview coach, and these are the types of issues I discuss with my clients. Click this link to my scheduler. I look forward to speaking.