Each month we find out from the jobs report that the unemployment rate is lowering slightly. For the past couple of months, it seems as though it has been on a very slow decline. This can mean that more people are finding jobs, more people have stopped looking for jobs or more people’s unemployment benefits have come to an end. I would like to take the slightly more optimistic view and say that more people are slowly finding jobs. Either way, the market is adding jobs and more people are going to be reentering the workplace. With gaps in employment, even as little as a couple months, it can be difficult to come back into the workplace with the same fervor you once had.
Perhaps you were laid off from your previous position and haven’t been able to find adequate work just yet. Perhaps you had a child and wanted to stay at home to take care of it for the first five years of its life. Either way, it can be difficult to navigate around this new job market and it is in my best interest to provide you with some tips for reentering the workplace. A lot of information on reentering the workplace refers to women looking for work again once their children are old enough to go to school. This may be true, but there are stay at home fathers that have to deal with the same struggle. So, whether you are a man or a woman looking to reenter the workplace, hopefully you can benefit from some or all of these tips.
Know What You Want
Before you start looking for and applying to jobs, first think about what kind of job you want right now. Are you looking for a part-time job or full-time? If you no this right away, you can weed out a lot of positions from your search and make it much easier to find a job that best fits you now. Do you plan on staying in the same field or industry? If it has been a while since you have worked, it may be exceedingly difficult to get back on the horse. Maybe you want to try something new and different because you are no longer interested in what you did before. Or maybe you just cannot find a job in your field and have to opt for new training or education to do something else. Perhaps there have been new advancements or improvements in the kind of work you do and you need to brush up on your skills. This leads us to our next tip.
Returning to School
For some people, returning to school can be the “oomph” they need to get back into the workplace. If you have been out of the game for a couple of years or more, it is very possible that there have been advancements made that you are currently unaware of. Check it out and see if there is outside training you can participate in or a class you can join to stay up-to-date on new advancements and technology in your field. This is especially important with IT jobs and jobs that rely heavily on computer technology such as a graphic designer, an SEO strategist, etc. In addition to learning what’s new in your field, or going to school for something completely different, you should also stay up-to-date on new job search technology. If you have been out of the market for a couple of years, a lot has changed. Most all job searches are conducted online and new sites have emerged that make it easier for you to find your dream job. Specifically, Spark Hire is a new job search platform where job seekers and companies can utilize and communicate with video technology in order to find the perfect company and candidate respectively. New technology like this can really aid your search and in order to stay ahead of the competition, you should stay on top of them.
If you are going back to school to pursue a new field, make sure you are not using education as a crutch. It may be very difficult for you to find a job in your field, so you figure you will change fields for one that is in higher demand. That may be the best idea for you, but make sure you are making the right decision. School is expensive and if you are just going back to school because that’s what you feel comfortable with, you could be making a financial mishap. Make sure the new field you pursue is actually hiring at a respectable rate.
Just like most job seekers, networking is very important for those reentering the workplace. Since you have a gap in your employment, be it small or very large, companies may be hesitant to hire you. They may think you aren’t used to the work or the schedule and will brush you off for someone else that is fresh. That is why networking can make all the difference. If you know someone, or met someone through an event, party, etc., then it can be much easier for you to plead your case. Perhaps this person knows, or learns, that you left the workforce to help an ailing family member and know that you are a hard worker. Someone that knows you, or is your acquaintance, can vouch for you more than your words on a resume or in a cover letter can. People want to hire people they know, be it someone they know themselves or someone their employee/client knows. Keep your networking skills up and make sure you make it known that you are looking to reenter the workplace once again.
Keep your resume up-to-date. If you took some classes to stay knowledgeable in your field, make sure you include that in your resume and cover letter. Make sure your past work experiences are up-to-date and your references as well. If you are going to use references, make sure they know you are including them so if they are contacted, they are not surprised or confused- or completely forgot who you are. Another great thing you can do to show that you are up-to-date is to create a video resume. A video resume is a chance for you to verbally tell an employer what you have accomplished and why you are the best fit for the position. It’s a chance to show your personality and communication skills as well. A video resume on Spark Hire is a great way to show an employer that you are staying up on new advancements and that you are up-to-date.
If it’s been awhile since you were working, don’t snub your nose up at temporary work. Even if it’s not exactly what you want right now, it’s a great way to bridge the gap in your employment and ease back into the workplace. Temporary work is far better than no work, remember that.
Are you trying to reenter the workplace or are about to? Are there certain things you have done to stay ahead of the game?
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