You’ve decided to return to work. You’re smart, you’re motivated and if you have it all figured out, great. But if the idea overwhelms you, enough to put you off, take a deep breath and rethink this.
You don’t have to go at it alone.
In fact, most experts insist that you find help. And chances are, you will find plenty.
Start at the beginning
Write about what do you want to do when you begin the Job hunt. Goals, no matter how simple or lofty are a great starting point. And this is key, because you will be answering questions on career goals in every interview.
How can you achieve those goals? Pen down your skills, the qualities you possess, the experience you bring to the job. Don’t be intimidated if it looks rough, you can keep refining details as you go along.
This simple writing exercise will give you a visual, concrete and measurable representation of where you stand.
Advice, even Mentorship comes from all sources. Start with peers who know more than you do. If you need ideas, talk to friends. Email or Facebook old colleagues and classmates. People already in the workspace can share info on job types, flexibility options, getting you introductions etc. Even if it’s not your industry of choice of work, ask other women on what they like (or don’t) about their job.
Throw an idea or a network party for your girlfriends – you might end up motivating many others into doing the same for their careers.
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It’s okay to start with a rough draft. Use a template you like, or many. There are literally hundreds available for free, and unless you have a lot of experience, keep it simple, succinct, short.
Also Read Does Your Resume Say Enough
Having created a resume, run it past your spouse, or a friend. Ask them to be frank. Brutally. You can also use a professional resume coach if you want. If you have identified a job(s) to apply for, read the job description carefully to ensure that you have the skill sets needed and that reflects in your resume.
Face to Face
Prepping for interviews is when you refine your answer on goals. Write down your answers in broad points – seeing them on paper will help you weed out what seems exaggerated, improbable or simply unimportant.
If you know someone who is experienced at hiring, get their help with mock interviews. If not, find someone who understands communication or public speaking. Teachers are a great resource in this area – they’ve heard everything from the long-winded to the overconfident spiel. Say your answers aloud, use the mirror, or video record yourself on the phone in selfie mode, and review it later.
Don’t despair if your closet is missing the black pantsuit and you don’t want to spring for a pricey wardrobe quite yet. Try borrowing from a friend; look for a consignment shop where you can find a bargain. The local Mom’s Clubs are a great resource for ideas. And there are places where you can always rent something smart for a fraction of what you might pay at full retail. But before you do any of this, check the company dress code.
Information all the way
One of the biggest challenges of a career comeback is not knowing where to start. And there are plenty of answers to be found online. Which is sometimes the problem – there’s way too much info available on every topic.
If you Google a query, try the keywords that fit your circumstances best. Be super specific – you’ll be surprised at what you will find. If not, you can always widen your search. So if your heart lies in selling homemade dolls made with scrap fabric or a job in the lighting industry, look for info on that.
Learning is a Cycle
Give yourself time – you will win or you will learn!
Statistics, even general information varies widely on the length of time career comebacks take but it’s a safe bet that it ain’t happening overnight.
Also Read 9 Ways to Plan Your Next Career Path
So clean up and polish that resume, think harder about your skills, improve your interview performance with practice and feedback. Make it a point to find the right online resources and reach out to people that can help get you a job or at least make the process easier. A lot.
Pooja Krishna is an Entrepreneur, Consultant and Mom. She has worked both in large corporates and managed startups over the last 20+ years. A co-founder of Maroon Oak, she’s also founded Win Thinks, a small business consulting company, and Trading Paces, which educates amateur and pro stock traders. She blogs and teaches workshops about Brand Strategy, Social Media & Future ready Career Solutions. She loves being a Classroom Mentor and teaching students across the U.S. about Job Skills and Entrepreneurship. Read her interview on Huffington Post.
A trivia buff and yoga & hula hoop enthusiast, Pooja loves spending time with her family playing board games and watching documentaries.
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