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Reentering the workforce after a long absence...
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A Game Plan for Relauncing Your Career

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Reentering the workforce after a long absence is an intimidating undertaking and the longer the absence the scarier it is. During that time, your industry changes and so do you. But I’ve helped many mid-career professionals get back in the game and you can too.
It doesn’t matter whether you left the workforce to raise children, travel, or for personal reasons such as caring for a sick relative. If you’re mulling over how to reenter the workforce, the same simple steps can be used to help anyone get back on track.

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A Game Plan for Relauncing Your Career

  1. 1. www.lucasgroup.com EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS - BLOG www.careeradvice.lucasgroup.com Reentering the workforce after a long absence is an intimidating undertaking and the longer the absence the scarier it is. During that time, your industry changes and so do you. But I’ve helped loads of mid-career professionals get back in the game and you can too. It doesn’t matter whether you left the workforce to raise children, travel, or for personal reasons like caring for a sick relative. If you’re mulling over how to reenter the workforce, the same simple steps can be used to help anyone get back on track. Step One: Reassess your interests. If you’ve been out of the workforce for 10 years, you’re probably not the same person you were when you left. Traveling the world or caring for a child are both life-changing experiences that require the development of new skills. Before jumping right back into the career you left, think about whether that still interests you. Networking is a great place to start. Consider if that career is still appropriate in the context of your current strengths. Don’t be afraid to contemplate moving into a different field. Step Two: Brush up on your skills. Once you know what field you’d like to focus one, check in on your skill set. New computer programs may have become the standard in that industry. Or your financial modeling chops could be a bit rusty. Take classes and read books to make sure that when an interviewer asks you if you’re ready to hit the ground running you can confidently say yes and mean it. Working with a recruiter who is a specialist in your field can also be hugely helpful here. He or she will be able to expertly guide you on getting in tip top shape for job interviews. Step Three: Build your self-confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself then there’s no way you can sell yourself. Brushing up on your skills helps but then it’s all about building your confidence. In addition to preparing for all of the normal interview questions, consider all of the questions you might be asked regarding returning to the workforce. Practice those responses in a mock interview until you feel confident about answering any question that gets thrown your way. A resume gap is nothing to be ashamed of and can actually end up being a great, relatable talking point. Step Four: Restructure your resume. A chronological resume is the gold standard so candidates reentering the workforce sometimes make the terrible mistake of fudging dates to cover up gaps. Always be honest about your career timeline and plug what you were doing into the resume like any other position to avoid a mystery gap. I like a lighthearted title like “Household CEO” for returning mothers or “World Traveler” for those who have taken time off to see the world. Then use your cover letter to address your unique story. Step Five: Network, network, network. Your professional network is probably out of date so refreshing it is hugely important to identifying career opportunities. Get back in touch with old colleagues. Dig into your alumni network. Look for connections among other parents at your children’s school. No contact information? No problem. LinkedIn is an incredible tool for tracking down contacts and reaching out to refresh old ties or for new ones. Now you’re all set to start landing interviews and ultimately get back on the career track. Have you had experience reentering the work force? Tell us what strategies helped you succeed. A Game Plan for Relaunching Your Career by Jamie McCann Executive Senior Partner – Sales & Marketing

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