For someone who’s been out of the workforce for a long and extended period, re-entering your JOB field can be quite the challenge, and even more so if you plan on going into a new career.
You may have taken time off for several reasons; either to raise a family, recover from an illness, attain a higher degree, relocate to a new environment, or you just took some gap years for your mental health.
Now that you’re ready to get back to work, you take a look at your résumé, you wonder how you’ll explain the 3 – 7 years gap to an employer, and you’re hoping to update it with some worthwhile activities.
Brace yourself, you’ll most likely have some hurdles to overcome before you start to find your strides again.
BELOW ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU GET BACK ON TRACK;
1. KICK THINGS OFF WITH A VOLUNTEER WORK: Volunteering is one way to enhance your job search. Start by giving yourself away without being paid. To an employer, keeping busy even when there’s no tangible reward points to the fact that you could be a valuable member of any team, and If you are savvy, you’ll build great networks that will come in handy when the need arises.
Also, when you volunteer in a career path that you’re interested in, you are sure to learn a thing or two. Just do something, It’s in the midst of keeping busy that what you want finds you.
2. INTERNING: Internships are ‘quintessential résumé boosters’ and are a great way to test-drive a new career path. It also helps to ease you back into the work mode without the pressure of work, as well as help you develop valuable skills employers want. Internship is a time-tested way to work your way towards a good paying job.
3. LEVERAGE ALL OF YOUR NETWORKS: “At least 70% of job openings are never advertised or announced publicly – Business Insider.
After updating your volunteer roles or internship experience on your résumé, you need to look into your networks and connect with people who can help you in your job search.
Think about former co-workers, others you’ve met while volunteering, could be uncles who’s made promises in time pasT?, friends and fam who owe you one, previous bosses, LinkedIn connections, the list goes on. Put together that list or call in a favour.
4. DON’T WAIT TO BE FOUND: Now is not the time to be laid back and passive. You need to make yourself visible, put yourself out there and hit the ground running. People tend to pass along opportunities to people they know and people in their faces, so get out there and network, join the job community, update your LinkedIn account, join intelligent conversations, and Be Active!
5. TAKE REFRESHER COURSES: If you haven’t been active or intentional about keeping up with your skills, chances are they are already rusty or outdated. Taking some certificate courses in your area of interest will help you feel more confident in your knowledge about the career field.
In addition, you can work an entry level job while you wait.