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Career Doctor
How to deal with a career gap and a messy CV?
posted on Friday, 26 February 2010 17:23

Dear Career Doctor,

I graduated in 2003 in US and will reach 30 next years.

My brief employment history:
Before 2005, worked as part-time in the US
After 2005, back to HK and worked in retail banking for 2 Yrs 2007-2008, Private Banking (1 yr) 2008-2009, Investment Banking (1 yr)

I resigned in Sep 2009 as my dad (do business in US) was suffered from serious paralysis suddenly.  Doctor said there is no way to get recover, but will only get worse when time pass.

I worried and depressed and at the same time i felt so tired working in bank, so I discussed with my mum that i wanted to have a career break to spend time with family and take some short courses to refresh myself. (my company do not have the policy of no-pay leave)

As i am not a US citizen, I cant stay in the US for long. Now my dad's situation is stable. I am thinking to go back to HK to find a job as I dont want to leave the job market for more than 1 yr and somehow i'm a bit missing the investment banking.

Q1. Is it a big problem to have a career gap in the CV? What  the interviewer think about it as i think my CV is a mess, i seem to be a jumpy person too!

Q2. I take the programming course and interpersonal skill course during the gap that i think is useful at work. Shall I put in the CV to show i still have upgrade myself during the gap?

Q3. I dun know how to decide: go back to hk asap to find a job or stay few more months to finsih my CFA Level 2? I am confidence that i can pass it and add value to my CV.

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Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Friday, 05 March 2010 11:40 PM

Looking at your employment history you did appear jumpy, but on the other hand you keep advancing and upgrading yourself every move/jump, moving from retail to investment banking is definitely not easy. Jumpy or not - what it serves is a strong proof that you're a fast learner, should be smart and productive with good presentation skills, am I right?

Tell me, why can't you be open and honest to tell future employers you went back to the States to look after your father? What's wrong with that? There're of course priorities and obligations for us to fulfil in life, your father needed you, and you quit to be there with him during his toughest days, simple, isn't it? There's nothing and I don't see any need to lie nor making up those "further study" lies.

While continuing your CFA exam/study you may also start looking for jobs, you need to come back to HK for interviews anyway, if you've made up your mind to come back and work here, why still so hesitant? You can always do your CFA exam in HK, right?

Come on, action speaks louder than words, how much time have you got left to waste?

Anonymous's picture
Posted Wednesday, 03 March 2010 10:55 AM

Somehow i have a similar problem. hang in there. fix your life.

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