Going back to work after raising children for a few years can be difficult. You have to get back into the habit and routine of working life and get used to leaving your personal life at home again. You have to remember how to correctly participate in meetings, get along with nosey coworkers and deal with strict deadlines. But that’s not the hardest part. When you’ve been out of the game for a few years, it can be difficult to land a job in the first place.
It’s not that you’re not hard working or are bad at what you do but there’s a massive gap in your CV. The times have changed. Different technology is being used, new processes have been introduced and your industry may have had to completely change the way it operates. It’s not always easy to find an employer willing to give you a chance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means you could need a little help. So, here are six tips to make everything a little simpler for you.
Think about where you left off
What was your last job like? What responsibilities did you have and what tasks did you excel at? Did you enjoy it? Try not to be nostalgic when you think back to the last time you worked. Consider what you liked about the job and what annoyed you or made you unhappy. You need to decide whether you want to go back to doing something similar or go in a completely new direction that excites you more. You don’t want to end up stuck in a job you hate because you didn’t think it through properly.
Sharpen your CV
Once again, the times have changed. So, you need to make your CV is as impressive as possible. No, that doesn’t mean you should lie on your application. That’s never a good idea and it could get you in a lot of trouble. What you need to do is spend some time online looking at what employers want to see on your CV and decide what skills and experience you have that they will find appealing. Soft skills are as important as technical skills these days, so try to add some details about those as well.
Reconnect with old contacts
You knew people in the industry back in the day and chances are they won’t have forgotten you. Especially if you were hard-working and talented. So call your old employer and colleagues, connect with the right people on Linkedin and email old clients or suppliers you used to deal with. Ask if they’d be willing to put in a good word for you. There’s no need to be shy, many people are happy to help out in any way they can. You should also organise references so potential employers can double-check your experience and qualifications.
Update yourself on everything that’s happened in the industry
Spend a few hours online and search industry-specific publications and websites. See what’s trending, what methods people are using these days and what current best practice is. For example, if you’re looking at marketing part time jobs, then you should know how brands have progressed with regards to how they engage with consumers now as opposed to how they used to do it. Bring up what you’ve learned in your research in your cover letter to show a potential employer that you may not have been working in the industry for the past few years but you have remained informed and interested.
One of the best things you can do to help land a job is to upskill yourself. Why not look into taking some marketing courses part time or taking some online courses related to the industry you want to work in. You don’t even have to spend lots of money, there are tons of free courses that are both interesting and very helpful. Taking courses (whether online or part time) shows a potential employer that you are eager and willing to do what it takes. It will also help you actually do the job when you start working.
Practise being interviewed
It may sound silly but you should always rehearse before going in for an interview. Look up the most commonly asked questions online and practise your answers. It’s always important that you’re as prepared as possible by the time you want into the office of your potential employer. It may feel strange at first but you should talk out loud when you practise. While you may know you want to talk about the marketing diploma part time courses you took, you need make sure you can get the words out properly. Ask a friend or your partner to interview you and see how quickly (and expertly) you can think on your feet.