Going back into the workforce is scary! No matter what reason you were out, it’s always good to have a refresher that will get you up-to-date FAST!
DON’T DIMINISH WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING
Unless you’ve been sitting at home, waited on hand and foot, and eating bonbons while watching daytime TV (unlikely) then you’ve been busy. What you’ve been doing most recently might not be what you’re looking for in your next job, but don’t underestimate it. If you’ve been taking care of children, check out openings in childcare. If you’ve been taking care of a sick family member, check out nursing homes and hospitals. After all, your experience has been recent!
If you don’t want to expand what you’ve been doing, consider what you did beforehand. Has the industry changed drastically since you’ve been out? Are there opportunities for part-time openings to ease you back in? Was it extremely stressful or time-consuming? Do you want to consider going back? If you’re all for what you’ve done before, then you need the credentials to get back. If it’s been a few months of time off, it might not be difficult. After a few years, it could feel impossible. Gauge your situation and go from there. Try taking on some volunteer or part-time openings to start with, to regain that credibility that recent experience offers.
REBUILD YOUR NETWORK
If your current social media presence is sharing pictures of your kids, you need to think out of the box. You’re relaunching your professional brand and potential companies have great incentive to run a basic website search on everyone they hire. Change your profile pictures to one of you looking friendly and somewhat professional (without alcoholic beverages, kids, or too much skin) and make sure to let everyone know you’re looking for work. Update your LinkedIn profile and be sure to look there for job openings as well. The more people who you talk to, the more opportunities for that opening you’re looking for!
The lower the technology threshold is for the job, the easier it is to re-enter. It should be easier with the more qualified skill set, but technology skills can atrophy if you’re not using them all the time, and technology changes quickly. You don’t need the latest skills for every industry, just consider it an update. Once you learn it, you’re caught up and using these technologies like everyone else. Taking courses online or at a local college and picking up freelance projects will get you going in the right direction.
(This site often has useful information for free or very cheap: GCF Global)
AGE IS ONLY A NUMBER
Returning to the workforce can be daunting for many people, but one of the unexpected aspects is discovering that the hiring manager or the new boss could be half your age. It can be hard to avoid taking it personally when you don’t get the position, but feeling as though you’re supposedly “too old” for the position based on your age and nothing else isn’t the attitude to get you there. If you show in an interview that you can work with anyone and willing to learn new skills – or have already learned them! then you’re going to make a great impression.
Now get out there and show them what you’ve got!
You might be interested in why using a staffing agency would be a good decision: Why Job Seekers Should Use a Staffing Agency