The thought of reentering the workplace can be daunting at best, especially if you have been at home for several years. I know it was for me. I had left a successful and fulfilling job to raise my two children.
When I first thought about going back to work it was not only scary, but honestly, a bit overwhelming as well. I was plagued by a multitude of questions:
- Where do I begin?
- What do I do?
- Are my skills still relevant?
- How have things changed?
- Do I need to go back to school?
- Will I need new clothes – fortunately, this was an easy one.
The more I looked, it seems the less I found. There was no one place that addressed the issues as a mom returning to the workplace after 12 years. So when I came across Dennis Thompson, of Thompson Associates and author of Four Degrees to Your Dream Job, it was kismet. Together we created a step by step process to help anyone get into the job market – no matter how long you have been out.
Step 1- Make finding a job your job! Carve out the time in your life/schedule.
Start by thinking of your job search as your new job and treat it as such. Schedule a minimum of 4 to 6 hours a day to work on your job search in addition to anytime you will spend interviewing and commuting to and from meetings, interviews etc. If, in fact, you will commit 6 hours minimum each day, 5 days a week it will only be a short time before you find yourself employed.
Really, take your calendar out and block out 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Now take a look at all your other activities during that time, gym, walk the dog, coffee with the girlfriends, the list goes on and on. Now start moving all those extra activities to another time slot or off the calendar all together. Set yourself up for success and give yourself the time to be sucessful.
BTW- if this seems like a lot, ask yourself, how much time did you or does the average person spend on a full time job? Generally eight to ten hour, plus commute. It is simple and it’s your choice – however if you are serious about finding work as fast as possible you will need to put in the time.
Your day time hours are sacred. This is the only time you will have to make calls, receive calls and go to appointments. Remember also that it will take some time to understand, get comfortable and become effective at conducting your job search. You may not have done this in a long time or ever. Give yourself room to make mistakes, expect it to take some time and to have to work / practice to get back in the swing of things again and get good at the job of finding a job.
Coming up next, Step 2 of 3: Talk to your family.