Getting Back Into the Workforce! | Articles & Tips | WNYJobs.com | Buffalo

Articles and Advice

 Getting Back Into the Workforce!

By Joe Stein

As we approach the end of another calendar year, we enter the time when many people in Western New York decide to re-enter the workforce after a period of time being out. Regardless of your reason for your planned absence (whether it was due to raising children, your illness, or caring for a family member), there is a number of challenges you may face in coming back.

It would be quite understandable for a returning job seeker to be a bit nervous about getting back into the workforce.  For most people, the longer you have been out, the more internal concern you may be facing about landing the new job you desire.

While getting back into the workforce may be challenging, there are some tips to consider that should make it easier for you.  Let’s take a look at some of the items for you to consider.

 -  Know What You Want:  This particular aspect covers a lot of territory.  The overall theme is to determine all of this prior to your job search.  This will allow you to focus on the jobs that best meet your needs, therefore saving both you and your prospective employer time.
 - Know how much and when you want to work.  Is it full or part-time work that you are seeking (and how many hours)?  Is there a particular schedule that you need, such as a particular departure time or weekend work?  Of course, make sure you really are ready to go back to work (especially if the reason you went out has not been fully resolved).  You may also want to cover all of this with your family, especially your children, if you were out for child raising.
- Know what type of work you want to do.  Don’t assume you will be automatically satisfied with what you used to do.  Depending on how long you have been out and perhaps even the reason you were out, you may have changed enough personally that your job search should be adjusted and better reflect the “new” you.
 
Stay Confident:  You will probably face some tough Interviewers who will question your work history and your employment gap.  It makes sense to assume you will have to overcome the adversity of having employers passing on your candidacy before finding someone who will hire you.  Remember that your job search is a matter of numbers and the more opportunities you generate, the more likely you will hired.  Even if you do not receive the positon desired, the process will still be a valuable opportunity for you to receive some practice in your job search.

Perform an Update:  There are several items that are subject to be updated.  Some examples are noted below.
 - Review Resume – Do a refresh of your resume and update as necessary.  Consider replacing your “Career Objective” for a “Summary of Qualifications”, as this is a common change in “modern” resumes.
 - Refresh Your Credentials/Skills – Depending on what you do and how long you have been out, you may not be able to just jump right back into the workforce.  If you need to go back to refresh your licensing or learn a certain skill, then try to do this before or during your job search. This will insure you will be ready to work when hired.  For many, this may be as simple as just doing some online reading regarding new terminology or techniques.
 - Practice Your Interviewing – It may have been a while since you last were interviewed.  Ask a friend or family member to be your sounding board for you as you practice your answers.  In particular, work on your answer regarding why you have been out.  Decide in advance, how much you will be willing to share with an Interviewer who may inquire.  You will not be able to “hide” this gap unless it was for only a very short period of time, so it will need to be addressed.

Get the Word Out: Let your friends, family members, and former work colleagues know that you are coming back to the workforce.  Ask them to provide you any leads on open positions.  You can also use this task to make sure your references are in order when a company who is interested in you starts asking.

Adjust Your Search Techniques – Depending on how long you have gone since your last job search, you may have to tweak your techniques a bit.  While the print publication of WNYJOBS.com is thriving, running a greater number of ads than ever, more is being done via online and social media over the last several years.

It is wonderful news that you have decided to re-enter the workforce.  It is a great time to make this decision as the economy is as good as it has been in several decades and the start of a new year can offer many opportunities.  You will probably face some challenges, however, along the way in your job search.  If you review and consider the items outlined above you can give your search a jump start.

As always, best of luck in your job search!