Re-enter Like a Lion, Not a Lamb
Swing for the fences….shoot for the moon! This is the best advice that I can give anyone re-starting a career after a break. When taking on a new challenge, there is the temptation to take it slow. If the idea of change is scary, you may begin to doubt yourself. When re-entering your career, this is not the time to be timid. Instead re-enter like a lion!
On a Break?
Perhaps the phrase, career break, is not accurate. Although some take a break, most returning people from a “break” are remarkable individuals who have been assiduously serving in community leadership roles, raising thousands of dollars for charities, running households, and attentively caring for family members. Perhaps that sounds like you. You don’t have to embellish your history. Most likely, you have many impressive accomplishments and relevant skills. Try to recall the roles you have held over the years (paid and unpaid), the scope of your responsibilities, and how you made a difference. (In other words: accomplishments.)
Think Good Thoughts
Be confident. Let go of any anxieties about age, motherhood, and extended career breaks to take care of other people. Surround yourself by those that will encourage you. There are enough people ready to crush your dream. Some people have good intentions, but seem to have a knack for finding fault. Seek out peers that will uplift your spirit. In return, try to be a source of inspiration and support for your peers.
Brand Yourself as the “Best You”
Create the brand of the person you desire to be. That is the professional that your target employer will interview, pursue, and hire. When expressing your brand, showcase your advantages. Many seasoned or re-entry careerists can run circles around recent graduates when it comes to communication skills and problem solving ability. Also, re-entry candidates tend to possess diversified skills. Hiring employers want to hire the prodigious person you want to be and that you are. In other words, market the “best you.”
It is expected that you will have a few gaps in skills and knowledge when you are entering a career after a long time out of the paid workforce. What matters is how you address the situation. First, study job postings and identify requirements and where you may fall short. Make efforts to prepare yourself through online courses, certification programs offered by professional associations, software training classes, and webinars. In many cases, re-entry candidates are lacking in proficiency in current software applications, digital communication, and social media. With effort, you can bring yourself up to speed in these areas quickly.
Be bold. Confidently launch your re-entry campaign like a lion. Be proud as you build a genuine brand based on sought-after skills and knowledge. Surround yourself with supportive people and foster a positive attitude. With this foundation in place, you poised for success.