Leaving the workforce to raise children full-time is a common decision. At some point, however, many women find themselves looking to get back in the game. Your children are older now, and are less dependent on you. There may be a craving for some outside modes of achievement, and you miss working and having something that is just ‘yours.’ Or, perhaps things are tight financially and a second income is much needed.
Regardless of your motivations, you know all too well that an extended break from employment can make it more difficult to get hired. There is concern you may be ‘out of touch,’ or lacking the most up-to-date skills and training. But, don’t despair. If you are willing to put some time and effort into maximizing your employment appeal, you will find your search much more fruitful. Here are just a few tips to get you started.
What is Your Why?
This may seem like a question that doesn’t require much thought, but it actually does. Getting to the root of your desire to work will improve your chances of getting hired because you want employers to feel like you really want to be there, are ready to contribute and have a sense of purpose.
They want to see you have some sort of intrinsic motivation, and you are not just looking for a paycheck. While that is obviously a primary driver, and everyone knows it, you want to dig a bit deeper. Not only is this beneficial when faced with the inevitable question of why you are looking to get back in the workforce, it will give you the push you need to perform your job search, which may get a bit stressful and deflating at times.
Now that you have your ‘why’ all figured out, you need to get some clarity on exactly what you are hoping to accomplish here, and what you want to do. Are you planning on going back to the same industry or do you want to enter a new field? Are you hoping to get back in at the same level or are you open to entry-level positions? What do you want to do exactly? What do you want and need in a job? Are you interested in something with flexible hours or that allows for telecommuting at least partly? How far from your home are you willing to travel? Are you willing to take a job that involves travel, and if so, how much? The more you zero in on what you want and need in a position, the more effective your search will be.
Use All the Resources at Your Disposal
When it comes to maximizing your chances of finding a job after a prolonged absence, you want to take advantage of every resource at your disposal. Check out any job fairs in your area. Get signed up with staffing firms. You can find many an employment agency in Kansas City, Kalamazoo, Kentucky, or California. Networking can also be very beneficial. Look for local chapters of relevant professional organizations; if that isn’t an option, connect with members online and let them know you are looking for work. For all you college graduates, get in touch with your Alumni Association. Put up a profile on LinkedIn. Be on the lookout for networking events in your area and go to all of them.