Beginning a job hunt after a long period of time can be intimidating and full of trepidation for anyone, particularly if you were unemployed during this gap. Gaps in employment can occur because of company layoffs, returning to school, raising a family, extended illness, or simply wanting to take time off from work. No matter the reason for the gap, you need to be ready to re-enter in order to be successful in any new career. Read this post to find five tips to make your re-entry into the working world successful.
- Assess Yourself Prior to a Job SearchThe first tip to successfully re-entering the workforce is to assess yourself – before you ever begin your job search. Figure out how big the gap in your employment is on your resume, and be prepared to explain that gap to interviewers. Also, take a look at the skills you have related to your profession and figure out if any of them need to be refreshed or if you need to add any new ones before you begin looking for a new job. Learn new skills by taking temp assignments in your area of expertise.
- Learn the Industry AgainThe second tip for successfully re-entering the workforce after a gap in employment is to learn the industry again. Even though you might have known some of the major players in the industry when working, it is likely that many of those players are no longer around. They could have retired, relocated or left the industry for another profession. You should take the time to learn who the players are within the industry by browsing around LinkedIn and joining groups associated with your industry.
- Familiarize Yourself with Job RequirementsFamiliarize yourself with the specific job requirements of any company you apply to. If you have been out of the workforce for a prolonged period, you might not know what companies are looking for these days. The only way you can find out prior to applying for jobs is by reading as many job listings as possible, and taking note of the requirements of those jobs. Ask your temporary staffing representative to fill you in about any special requirements or skills needed for an upcoming assignment.
- Accept Feedback and Use ItOnce you begin the job search, following a prolonged absence from the workforce, make sure you accept any and all feedback provided – and use it to your advantage. If you are not selected for a job, ask the interviewer what items from your job history or experience caused you to miss this opportunity. If the interviewer gives you a candid answer, be sure to take what they say and use it to better yourself.
- Consider a Need for ChangeThe fifth and final tip for successfully re-entering the workforce is to consider change. If you are hitting a brick wall or find yourself at a dead-end, consider making a change in your career. Whether you need to go back to school to do so, or take a couple of training classes, a change is likely to help you get back to work much quicker than if you toil around unsuccessfully in your former industry. You may also want to take on some temporary work in order to get your feet wet in a career.
Re-entering the workforce does not come easy for everyone, which is why you need to have a plan in place to make sure it is as successful as possible. If you follow the five tips outlined above, your foray back into the workforce should be a seamless one.