What is the difference between a “Returner” and a “Career Changer” and can you be both?

A “Returner” and a “Career Changer” are two different concepts, but they both refer to individuals who are making significant transitions in their professional lives:


A Returner is typically someone who is reentering the workforce after taking a break or hiatus from their career. This break could be due to various reasons, such as raising a family, pursuing further education, dealing with health issues, or any other personal or professional reasons. Returners often face the challenge of getting back into the workforce, as they may need to update their skills, rebuild their professional networks, and adapt to changes in their industry.

Career Changer:

A Career Changer, on the other hand, is someone who is making a deliberate and significant shift from one occupation or industry to another. This transition could be motivated by a desire for new challenges, a change in personal interests, the need for better job prospects, or other factors. Career changers often face the challenge of convincing potential employers that their existing skills and experiences are transferable and relevant to the new career they are pursuing.

Both Returners and Career Changers may need to take specific steps to successfully transition into their new roles, such as gaining new skills, networking, updating their resumes, and potentially undergoing additional training or education. Career counseling, mentorship, and guidance can be valuable resources for individuals in these situations.

We partner with forward-thinking organisations nationwide to design and create supportive & impactful return to work initiatives and ultimately promote truly inclusive work environments for all.

Find out what its like to work for a Returner Friendly Employer read more here