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How to deal with a gap in employment?

It happens for any number of reasons and many people have it, but how exactly should you deal with a gap in employment? The first thing to remember is: be honest. Do not try to disguise the gap or lie about what you were doing when you were not working. Companies are scrupulous about checking references. The last thing you want to do is risk a potential job or start a new job with a lie. Lying on your resume, application, or as part of the hiring process is often a reason for dismissal at many companies.

You do not have to identify on your resume what you were doing during a gap in employment. Caring for a family member, relocating and trying to find a job in new city, taking time off to travel, or attempting to start your own business are all legitimate personal reasons to have a gap. Even though they do not need to be identified on your resume, you should be prepared to address them during an interview. You do not need to provide a bunch of personal details. Explain the situation, but do not include more than the basic facts. Then you need to explain how the situation is no longer a factor. Finally, you should reassure them of your interest and that you are ready to return to the workforce. Use the explanation as an opportunity to move the conversation to why you are particularly interested in the position and what you have to offer.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Volunteering, Re-Entering the Workforce, Gaining Experience, Changing Jobs, Interviewing

Just 2 hours a week in nature can work wonders

A new study says that spending two hours a week out in nature can work wonders for your health and wellbeing.

The study, led by the University of Exeter and published in Scientific Reports, found that “people who spend at least 120 minutes each week out in nature are more likely to say they have good health and a higher psychological wellbeing that those who don’t visit nature at all.”

And it didn’t matter if the 120 minutes was in one visit or in multiple shorter visits, it found.

“The current results also suggested that it did not matter how the 'threshold' was achieved. This may be because individuals selected exposures to fit their personal preferences and circumstances. For instance, some may prefer long walks on the weekend in locations further from home; while others may prefer regular shorter visits to parks in the local area,” the study says.

Other factors – such as gender, age, occupation, ethnicity, wealth, illness and disabilities – also did not matter. The 120 minutes applied to everyone in the study.

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Topics: Volunteering, Being a Great Employee, Safety, Managing Stress

Can Volunteering Help You Establish a Career?

You can gain a wealth of experience outside the workforce.

When I was younger, volunteering meant walking dogs or helping kindergartners learn how to read. It was a no-brainer at the time. I would check in, get my name badge, do my thing, check out and go home. Sure, it felt good to help others but this was so easy, anyone could do it. At the Humane Society, my job description consisted of cleaning dog and cat cages, giving them fresh food and water, taking dogs out for walks or petting cats. Not exactly the skills you promote on your resume. At the schools, my job consisted of helping 6-year old children read “See Spot Run”. Seriously, how could this be of any benefit to my future career.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Volunteering, Re-Entering the Workforce

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