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18 December 2023

Returning to work

Are you returning to work following a career break, or have you recently gone back to work after some time off?

In many instances, the thought of returning to the workplace may be intimidating but there are ways you can make the transition back to work smoother.

Horseracing is a fabulous sport to be part of, but it can be a demanding way of life in terms of working hours and work-life balance, so there are many reasons you may have taken a career break.  If you work with horses, physical injuries are common and time off can be required to recover.  Alternatively, you may have left an office job to move away from 9-5 working hours, recently had children or taken a sabbatical to better your wellbeing.  Below are some pointers for increasing your confidence and feeling more comfortable with the prospect of returning to work.


Return to work

Consider your current situation

Have a think about your current situation and what type of work you require. Do you need or want a less physically demanding job following an injury?  Would you benefit from flexible working hours? Do you want weekends off or have a minimum salary requirement?

You may also consider if you would like to return to the same role or try something different.  Make a note of your skills, including any new talents you have acquired during your time off.  For example, you may have done some volunteering, undertaken a training course or started an online blog. These are transferable and useful skills which should be highlighted to potential employers.



The racing industry is considered a tight-knit community and it is worth using your connections if you have decided to get back into the industry.  Contact former colleagues and ask if they know of any opportunities and don’t be afraid to ask former employers if they have any work available.  Previous employers may even have a different role or part time work available if required.  Consider also if there any newly established trainers or studs you could work for?  If you are looking to relocated, check out racecourses also in different areas of the country as a source of potential employment.

If you fancy a change and already have a skill base you can draw upon, research alternative roles in the industry. If you have worked in a yard, for example, you could look for a racing secretary role which involves less physical demands but allows you to work in the same environment as previously.


Update your skills

Look for opportunities within racing to freshen your skills and keep up to date with current practices and any changes in the industry since you left.  Volunteering is a good way to reconnect and there are myriad opportunities in racing to do this. This will also stand out on your CV to a potential employer.  Careers in Racing’s Job Board now features volunteering opportunities so this is a good place to start.

Undertaking a training course, either in person or online can be a good way to keep on top of current practices, for example, a veterinary nurse may be required to have the latest training or there may be new products available worth learning about.

Industry newspapers, online videos, podcasts and e-newsletters help to keep up with current affairs inside and outside of racing. 


Update your CV and Interview skills

It is likely you will need to update your CV following a career break and you will also need to write a cover letter. Here are some useful tips and templates to help you along the way. Be honest about your career break, employers are more likely to value your honesty than wonder why there is a gap in your employment history.

Interviews can also be daunting at the best of times so it can really help to prepare some answers to common interview questions and explain to your potential employer the reason for your career break. Read our Interview Dos and Don’ts page for more advice on interview preparation.

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