By Terri Peck, Guest Blogger
Looking for a new job is one of life’s greatest stressors. In most cases, job searches work out just fine. People look for and find new jobs every day. But our own fears and negative “self–talk” can really get in our way.
There are many different categories of “job searchers.” Some seekers are ready for a new opportunity and their current employer can’t provide that. Some people need to relocate and are driven to find a new job based on their new geography. Some folks get laid off or their job has been eliminated. The list can go on. But one category of job searchers that has its own set of unique challenges is the category of people that are re-entering the workforce after being out of it for a while. A common subgroup here is women re-entering the workforce after taking time off to raise their families. I’ve been there!
Where do I start? Who is going to hire a mom that hasn’t worked in many years? What am I even good at? These are just a few questions that women in this space ask themselves. Here are some tips to help you stop talking yourself out of opportunities so you can start looking towards the future productively!
Update your resume - even if you haven’t worked in many years - you would be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished not working in a traditional work environment. The first step in updating your resume begins with you listing out everything, and I mean everything you’ve done in the past several years; whether you’ve helped out a friend in their business (even if just once), to running a PTA function. You have done great things that I assure you you’re not thinking of!
Re-acquaint yourself with your natural skills! There are many easy, free online assessments that take little time and can show you where your natural skill sets lie. I always advise people to take at least two of these assessments to find the trends in your skill sets. Also, ask your close network of friends what your natural talents are. Your friends know what gifts and talents you have to offer. These gifts and talents you possess are part of why they love you as a friend. You will begin to recognize patterns that can lead you to looking for work that will bring you joy and provide fulfillment!
Let people know you are back on the market. Once you decide the type of job you will search for, let your email list know, your Facebook friends and anyone else who will listen! Be specific about the role and type of work you want as it will guide them in helping you discover opportunities.
If you don’t have one start a LinkedIn page. This is a great way to network professionally.
Make a list every Sunday night of five (5) things you are going to do in the approaching week to propel yourself towards gaining employment. Share that list with a friend or an “accountability buddy” and have periodic check-ins with your friend or buddy to help you stay on track.
Ask for help if needed. There are coaches out there - like me - who are excited about and have the knowledge around this very topic. As mentioned earlier, I’ve done it! I was out of the workforce for over five years and landed a job in the corporate sector. I am happy to share with anyone how I accomplished that and can help you develop your own plan of action.
Lastly, be aware of negative self-talk. Whether we realize it or not, we all talk ourselves out of doing things every single day! This is our own natural fear talking. It is not always easy to redirect your thoughts, but the first step is even being aware that you are doing so!
Searching for a job can be daunting for sure. But it is all in the way you approach it. The more control you have over your search, the more successful you will be. It is OK to ask for help! In fact, I encourage it. Asking for and getting help is a sign that you are in control and ready to hit the career restart button. I love advising women who are re-entering the workforce and there are others out there who love it too. Good luck and go get ‘em!