7 Tips for a Smooth Transition Back into the Work Force

14 Mar '12

 
Maybe it was the cost of daycare. Maybe it was the idea of leaving your baby with a comparative stranger. Maybe it had always been your dream. For whatever reason, a few years ago, you decided to quit working (at a job with wages, that is) and become a stay-at-home mom. But now the kids are grown and you’re ready to head back into the work force. It should be easy, right? After all, you have all those years of experience and maybe even a college degree. But times have changed since you last worked and finding the perfect job (or any job, for that matter) can be a real challenge. And once you get the job, how do you go about fitting in with people that haven’t left their desks in fifteen years?

 

 
7 Tips for a Smooth Transition Back into the Work Force

 

 
1. Before you even start looking at job openings, you’ve got to put together a resume. Do some internet research on a writing a resume. You’ll be surprised by how much resume writing has changed while you’ve been helping write papers on Christmas’ around the world.

 

 
2. Be sure to emphasize any volunteer work you’ve been doing, particularly if you’ve held leadership positions. Be just as detailed about your responsibilities as a volunteer as you are about your paid experience.

 

 
3. Do not limit your search to ads in the paper or help wanted signs in windows. The internet is loaded with job listing sites. Contact your former employers. Contact a staffing agency. Let friends know you’re looking. If you meet someone new who asks what you do, tell them what you’re looking for.

 

 
4. Got a great skill or a consuming passion? Consider looking for jobs that involve this passion. Again, the internet can be a great source for research into how to apply this passion. Bounce the idea off friends and have them give you feedback.

 

 
5. Before you go in for interviews, do some research on the company; know their business. Dress professionally unless you know for a fact that the company has adopted a more casual atmosphere. Even then, dress just a notch above to let them know you’re serious and a professional.

 

 
6. Often employers focus on hiring younger employees with lower wage expectations, consequently overlooking older applicants with more maturity and experience. It is easy for an employer to overlook the wisdom of age when a resume does not highlight this. It’s almost a given that you will be asked what your strengths are. Use your maturity to your advantage. Point out that you are more likely to be responsible, reliable and stable. Likewise, you are bound to be asked what your weaknesses are. Acknowledge that you haven’t been working for a while; it’s better than admitting that you are likely to show up to work with peanut butter on your slacks.

 

 
7. Relax-if you’ve been living off one income for the past few years, there’s probably no rush to get one now. Go into interviews with the idea that it will be good practice, if nothing more. Be yourself and you’re much more likely to win them over.

 

 
Take your time, have a plan and relax. You can do this!

 

 
Post by Sheena Sincennes

 

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