Accessibility information 
OOQ Logo OOQ Online banner


About OOQ Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook Home
Career guide to Industries Home
Employment Projections Home
MLR: The Editor's Desk
OES Occupational Profiles
BLS Home

Winter 2004-05 Vol. 48, Number 4

Getting back to work: Returning to the labor force after an absence

Stops and starts mark many careers. Relaunch yours with suggestions from this article.

Theresa Green understands the ups and downs of employment. She was promoted quickly and then fired by one employer. For her next employer, she worked only a short time before quitting. She found yet another position, had to leave it for a few weeks, and then returned—only to walk off the job after working in it for 5 years. 

Green admits to making some mistakes, and her mental illness contributed to a rocky start early in her career. She's also taken time off to raise her kids. But throughout her changing circumstances, Green has, when ready, re-entered the labor force.

For the millions of Americans who decide to return to work after any type of absence, there is good news: having an imperfect employment history may not be the problem it once was. Find out what Green and others have done—and what employment counselors advise—for a successful re-entry. In sidebars throughout the article, you'll find suggestions for some special re-entry situations. Additional information is available in the resources section beginning on page 42. 

How to best view PDF files Download the PDF (449K)



U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: July 6, 2005