If you’ve been out of the workforce for a little while, returning to work after having children or just on the lookout for a new career, the thought of change can be really daunting.
It’s a big adjustment for yourself and your family, however it’s important to look at at a new career or change as an opportunity to take the time to find something that really works for you.
Here are seven tips on prepping yourself for finding a new job or making a career change:
Determine your criteria
Take some time to think about what you really want to get out of a new role. You don’t want to find that you have to compromise on anything that is important to you, such as family time or missing out on doing the things that you love. I find that creating a list of your ideal role and the the lifestyle that you want to fit around you work helps you to narrow down the kind of thing you’re looking for. Think about what kind of role you want, what your ideal company would be, and what kind of company culture would suit you best, as well as practical things like location and hours of work. It helps you set your intentions for what you really want – remember, what you think about, you bring about!
Prepare your CV
If it’s been awhile since you’ve applied for a new role, then you’ll definitely want to give your CV a once over before applying for any new roles. You can even consider getting a professional resume writer to help you out. Don’t be concerned about that fact that you may have been out of the workforce for a little while, remember there are plenty of skills you can highlight. Focus on your strengths and tailor your CV to answer the requirements of specific roles that are being advertised.
Get on LinkedIn
While you’re at it, you need to take your CV digital, too! LinkedIn is a great online professional networking tool. You can connect with colleagues and others in your industry or related fields, but it’s also a great way to promote yourself and seek out new opportunities. If you’re new to LinkedIn, it’s worth investing some time in getting familiar with it so you can really use it to it’s full potential for job hunting. Consider taking a course or reading up online on how you can optimise your profile and make the right professional connections.
Prep your wardrobe
If your wardrobe has been looking a little more ‘sweats and slippers’, rather than ‘suits and heels’, then you’ll definitely need to get yourself an interview outfit. Remember – dress for success! It is generally expected that you present yourself in a reasonably formal way for an interview (unless you are told otherwise). A blazer over a simple dress or paired with a smart pair of trousers is all you need to worry about. Workplaces vary in their levels of formality, so this will really depend on the type of role you are taking. You might prefer to wait until you’ve accepted a new job before you really go all out and update your corporate wardrobe, so you can gauge how formal or how casual you need to dress for the office.
If you’re worried that you’ve been out of the loop for a little while when it comes to technology, spend some time familiarising yourself with common tools before you start applying for new roles so that you feel comfortable. These days, many tools used by businesses are online applications, so you can often sign up for a demo to have a play around with yourself. There are also online or community courses available to guide you through the basics.
Start your search
There are several online options when it comes to looking for jobs – sites like Seek, TradeMe and Gumtree. You simply need to enter key search terms that match the kind of role you’re looking for. It will also pay to check in with local recruitment agencies as they often have jobs on their books that might be the perfect match for you. They’ll also help you out with career guidance or any questions you might have about the right job options for you.
Make your work work for you!
So, perhaps you’ve had a look at the employment options out there and they’re just not really aligning with the kind of thing that you’re looking for? Or you’ve come to realise that being an employee is not going to suit your current lifestyle or availability? Have you considered contracting or even starting your own business instead? While this option will of course be a lot of hard work and take motivation and a bit of sacrifice to begin with, the payoff will be the freedom and flexibility to make work really work for you, while doing something that you’re really passionate about. Being able to work from home is a great option for mothers, or those who live in more remote areas. In our online world, remote working really isn’t as restrictive as it once was – in fact, you can have customers from anywhere in the world!
There is a lot to consider before making a career move or taking the step to get back into the workforce. If you go in prepared by following these steps, you’ll feel confident that you’re putting your best foot forward!