Reentering the Workforce: Tough Market Tips

Reentering the Workforce

Reentering the workforce after an extended period away can be even more challenging that entering it the first time. Whether you were away due to being a stay at home parent, attending to your own parents’

health, or any other reason, you will need to prepare. Although it may be daunting, your transition back to work can be easier if you follow some of these guidelines.

What Do You Want?

Before you begin blitzing corporation’s websites with your resume take the time to consider what you are really interested in. Do you want a full time job or are you looking for a part time position? You may have worked in one field but if you have been out of the workforce for several years that field may no longer exist. If that is the case, then it is important to take the time to brainstorm other potential uses for your skill set.

Even if your previous job field still exists, if you are no longer interested in pursuing a career in it, then you need to think long and hard about what you are interested in. Then think about how you can frame your skills, both from your time at work and those gained since then, to work in your new capacity. Whatever you decide to pursue, feel confident enough in your decision that you can appear sure of yourself in interviews.

Market Yourself

One of the biggest challenges for career seekers coming back to the workforce after an absence is presenting an up to date resume that adequately describes both their skills without focusing on their time out of the workforce. Look online for current resume examples and emulate that formatting style.

You’ll need to be confident enough to market yourself by adhering to a proven strategy.

Include a summary of your skill set at the top of your resume to share skills that you have garnered both from your time in the workforce and from the time since you left it. If you volunteered as your child’s room mother and found yourself planning class trips then you may have valuable travel planning experience. Spent some time editing the neighborhood newsletter? Whatever it is, think about the skills that could translate to the workforce.

Get Connected

Job hunters reentering the workforce, also called “relaunchers,” benefit tremendously from networking. This could mean getting a job through someone that you worked with in the past, but it also could mean getting a job thanks to a connection that you have made during the interim years since you left the workforce. It could be a fellow PTO mom, an acquaintance from your synagogue or church, another parent at the kids’ soccer game each weekend, or another friend. To ferret out these potential connections, make it clear that you are job hunting.

Using LinkedIn can help you to pinpoint which acquaintances could be useful in your job hunt. It also can be a great resource for finding previous colleagues who can fill you in on current industry developments and job openings in their companies. It also is a great way for you to get in touch with potential references.

Are You Willing To Step Back

It may be tempting to downgrade your job hunt to positions that are lower than where your career was when you left the workforce. Although you may need to ultimately accept a lower position if you are switching career fields, if you are continuing in the career that you left, then you should aim for jobs that are in line with where you were previously.

Value of Education

Going back to school may seem like an obvious next step for you, particularly if you are reentering the workforce after a particularly lengthy absence or if you are considering transitioning to a new field. Before you take out thousands of dollars in student loans, talk to professionals in your chosen field to find out what degree or program is really necessary as well as what to look for in the school that you attend.

You also should calculate the cost of your education. It may not be financially feasible for you to go back to school if the cost is exorbitant compared to additional salary that the extra degree or designation would garner you. Once you have found your new job you may be eligible for educational assistance from your employer. If this is the case, then you will be able to get the extra education to move up further in the future.

Give Yourself A Break

Job hunting is one of the most stressful experiences. You will experience rejection, hope, disappointment, and more. Job hunts often take six months. Make your job hunt part of your daily schedule and pace yourself.

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