My normal work history was I started as a software engineer and then eventually became a software (or "technical") architect. My wife runs her own business and some years ago she took what she thought was a simple legal case that started out as a small civil matter (tort law) but unfortunately it "grew legs" and blew up into a legal nightmare that was in danger of wiping her out financially and my wife was completely overwhelmed and she needed my help to get through it.
It was a dire situation for her and I quit my job to deal with it so my wife could focus on keeping her business going as she could not manage both. Regrettably it took several years to clear up, during which my time was split between working with our legal people to resolve the case and also assisting my wife to run her business in a backoffice role, handling tasks such as marketing, hr, accounts, admin etc. The legal battle had to be fought through a number of courts, taking several years before it concluded (successfully thankfully). I cannot overstate how much stress & pressure was involved
But it is finally over and I am now ready to go back to my normal career in software. The reason I'm giving some history is, I'm trying to figure out what should I say in my CV, LinkedIn profile and at job interviews to explain why I dropped out of my software career and what I have been doing the last number of years?
Part of my challenge is the final settlement included a gagging clause that the events are not to be disclosed to any 3rd party so I can't discuss the events and that is on my mind: how to describe this period without breaking that clause? Plus I'm concerned an employer could misconstrue events if I mention in my resume or LinkedIn that I've been embroiled in a massive legal battle for several years? Would that be off putting to employers? Should I ignore it as if it never happened and only discuss my backoffice roles? But then does it also look detrimental to go from being a software architect to a small business backoffice role without explanation why? I am feeling a bit stuck as to how I should explain this career gap so I would appreciate some advice as to what I should say.
I think its unlikely I could expect to go back in as a software architect after so long out of the field, so I probably need to go back to coding to reacquire technical skills again first. But how can I make my last few years of interest to software companies on a CV or at interview?
A lot of the skills I gained as a software architect were successfully redeployed: I can say that my written communication skills have massively improved as a result of my legal experiences, having had to draft innumerable documents to simplify and explain complex issues for the courts. I would say I have become exceptional in the skills of reducing complex issues to simple concepts and explaining things logically. And in doing this under pressure to tight court deadlines.
Document management and being highly organised was also something I became exceptionally good at, and I'd say I was superior at that even than the attorneys due to my ability with computers, every document and scrap of paper in our lives was scanned to searchable pdfs and organised in a way so that anytime someone claimed something was done or said in the past I could pull up our information instantly (you have no idea how much this confounded & frustrated the other side...)
In the backoffice role, I was doing things like setting up a new website, branding, social media, SEO. I also organised a new windows server & workstations & network, setting up IT systems. I reorganised the accounts, and handled staff HR, set up written policies & procedures and various other admin. I'm debating what job title to give myself, its my wife's business so I can give myself whatever job title I want, would giving myself the title of "business manager" be appropriate?