5 Tips for Rejoining the Work Force
I work with a lot of folks who had taken a break from their full-time jobs years ago and are now looking to rejoin the work force. Some of them were stay-at-home moms whose children are now grown; others had been caring for ailing parents who had recently passed away. Whatever the reason was for originally leaving their jobs, many of them are now struggling with the challenge of their former career not being easily restarted. If you’re in this same boat, I would like to encourage you with the reassurance that what you have been doing for the past several years was a very worthwhile venture and to offer a few tips for getting back into the work force.
- Re-sharpen your skills. You might be feeling a little rusty, and chances are that a lot of new technology and development has occurred in your field of work since you were last in it. Don’t be intimidated—take steps to get yourself back up to speed. Start taking some continuing education classes to renew any expired licenses you have, or get registered for classes that will earn you a new certification. There are so many online options these days that give you schedule flexibility for all kinds of classes, so take advantage of them.
- Start small and work your way up. The position and salary you previously had may not be an option for you yet, so look for jobs at smaller companies or jobs that give you a lot of growing potential. You may have to begin on a lower rung of the ladder than you left off at, but it’s a perfect way to get your foot in the door. Once you’re in, with a little hard work, you could quickly find yourself growing right back up to where you were. And who knows, other times, you may even discover that you love your new position more than you could have imagined!
- Network, network, network. There is some truth in the saying that it’s not just about what you know, it’s about who you know. So it pays to get out there and meet new people! Start with your former colleagues and friends and use those connections to expand from there. Whether it’s by phone, email, or in person, always be looking for the next connection that is familiar with the industry and/or your skill sets. When you have made the effort to be in the forefront of their minds, chances are good that your name will come up when they know of a good opportunity.
- Freshen up your resume. Pull it out of the proverbial closet, dust it off, and add some new touches to it. Make sure that it accurately reflects all of your latest work experience and includes any new credentials that you’re currently working on. Then post it on as many relevant online job boards as you can so that recruiters and hiring managers know that you’re back in the market and can easily find you for their job searches. Use this time to apply for any posting that looks like a good fit, as well.
- Try on your entrepreneur hat. Sometimes the best way to break back into your industry is to do some independent consulting or freelancing. This might also be a great opportunity to be really daring and start your own business. Do some research and see if you run into any other folks in the same boat with the same interests—you might find some great partners for launching something new.
Don’t be discouraged if this process takes longer than you anticipated. Always remember that you still have so much to bring to the table, so persevere and don’t quit until you find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a position within the insurance industry, feel free to contact us directly; we’d love to help you any way we can.