Top Ten Tips for a Successful Relaunch
Contemplating a return to work after a period of time off? Re-entering the workforce takes time, energy and tactical planning.
- Self-Analysis: Consider your current circumstances. What sort of work arrangement will best suit your lifestyle and income or benefit needs?
- Get-Focused: What is the job market like in your geographic area? Is your industry of interest hiring? If you feel paralyzed by choices consider using the services of a career coach to get you on the right track. There are also many free books and webinars that can assist you to identify your major areas of interest and develop your roadmap to success.
- Update Your Skills: If you have had a gap in employment, whether by choice or as a result of a long term layoff you may need to refresh your skills. Look for opportunities to inexpensively update your skills. Great places to check out are local libraries, community colleges and Adult Learning Centers. It may even be a good time to enroll in school and start completely fresh. Take advantage of campus career centers and advisors to help you on your journey.
- Volunteer: This can provide diverse, up-to-date experience that can be included on your resume. Non-profit organizations provide the opportunity to contribute in a variety of ways, expand your knowledge base and support a worthy cause
- Temporary Employment: Short-term assignments can help to close the gap with related (or unrelated) work and help you to build your resume and transferrable skills. Communicate with the placement agency and let them know you are looking for a permanent arrangement. Even if it does not turn into a long-term position you are still building valuable contacts and references.
- Develop Your Confidence: If you cannot promote yourself than who can? Once you have defined your relaunch strategy, determined your goals and begin updating your skillset you have to get comfortable telling people that you are looking for work.
- Build A Professional Network: If you have not maintained contact with past colleagues it is a good time to reach out to them and begin to build new relationships with people from your chosen industry. Connect with people who know you, are familiar with your abilities and will speak positively about you. Studies have shown that most people are likely to get a job through someone they know.
- Take Your Networking to the Next Level: Use social media to your advantage- consider opening a free Linkedin.com account. You can build a professional profile, join groups in your industry and reach out to former colleagues. Get back up to date with the standards in your industry and have conversations about professional issues. A great way to do this is to join a professional association in your field.
- Be Prepared to Address Gaps: On your résumé, consider using a skills-based format that draws attention to your abilities rather than your employment timeline. Calculate how you will answer questions in an interview. Remember to focus on the positive and promote the many ways you have stayed current and are prepared for new challenges.
- Informational Interviewing: As you build your network one way to gather additional information is to request an informational interview. This provides a platform to learn more about your job of choice and the skills and qualifications hiring managers are looking for in applicants. This can help you to refine your roadmap for career success.
Remember, you cannot expect to pick up where you left off. Be prepared to re-build your skill set and reputation!
Contributed by: Melissa Brodeur, CPRW & Dawn Rossetti, CPRW- www.relaunchcareerassociates.com