Maximize Your Skills When Re-Entering the Workforce

Young female passenger at the airport, using her tablet computerWhen re-entering the workforce you may be experiencing a bit of trepidation.  The field that you once thrived in may have experienced a lot of change.  Or maybe you would like to start something entirely new. Perhaps, the best route may be online education before re-entering the workforce. For example, enrolling in an online MBA program would be a great way to get a foot in the door with a business, while allowing the convenience to still be a full time head of the house.  Either way, there is a lot of fear of the unknown.

Our experts have provided us with a few tips to help you prepare yourself for a successful transition.

Identify Your Skills

Today’s career market is a very different environment for those re-entering the workforce. Many of the skills valued 20-25 years ago are out-dated and often women don’t have the formal qualifications their competitors have, so I encourage women to think creatively.

When developing your resume, look at raising your family as running a small business. Your skill base may now include:

• Finance management and budgetary skills

• Capital expenditure decision making

• Expertise in time management

• Organisational skills

• Creative thinking

• Negotiation skills

• A willingness to do tasks others often don’t want to do.

In addition, look at your involvement with school and sporting associations, community clubs etc and the skills obtained here. Remember, just because no payment was forthcoming doesn’t mean these skills are less important, but you will need to provide substantive examples. This renewed confidence gives you a great opportunity to either obtain or work towards the roles you are looking for.

Finally, what you want to do on returning to the workforce may be very different to your previous roles. Identifying skills developed over the years in between will give you choices – and isn’t that what we all want!

Michelle Everingham, Life Balance Coach, Designs On Life

Have Confidence Using a Multi-Step Plan

At GajGal we focus on women returning to the workforce and the growing trend in the evolution of flexible work. We see two key high level initiatives when it comes to women getting back into the workforce:

First is the concept of a “starter job” along with “skills refresh” to ensure that a mom returning to the work environment does not feel stressed and pressurized because she may feel that she does not know the latest terminology or tools.

The second is definitely evident in the high end skills areas such as engineering, science and technology – many of the organizations that list jobs on our GajGal site have specific initiatives in place to unlock “dormant” talent in the market, address their diversity gap and understand the need to help these individuals transition back into the workforce after an extended period of absence. In addition, their commitment to flexibility helps to ease that transition period when it comes to family commitments.

With this in mind it is important to have the confidence to aim high for a job that requires your skills even if you have not utilised them for many years. However, it is also critical to establish a multi-step plan to get the refresh that you need to be up to speed. Consider an interim position to help boost your confidence.

Helen Masterson, Co Founder, GajGal – Get a Job | Get a Life … that’s right for you

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