It’s fall, the kids are back in the routine of school, and the house is quiet. A little too quiet… You’ve thought about going back to work but you just don’t know where to start. A bunch of thoughts come to your head:
“I’ve been gone from the workforce for too long.”
“What would I do?”
“Who will help me with the kids and the house?”
“Why should I go back?”
“How do I get a job?”
All of these questions are natural, and all of them require thought and time to figure out the answers. Re-entry into the workforce doesn’t need to be overwhelming or unattainable. The right answer for you is out there.
Our instinct is to jump right into the action of getting a job. But before you update your resume and begin practicing interviews there are a few foundational areas I suggest you think through first. By having the right foundation you will be better prepared to identify the right goals, clearly articulate what you are looking for, and make sure you end up in the right role.
There are 3 important steps in building your foundation:
- Strengths and Passions
First, you need to be clear about why you want to go back to work. What is your motivation? When you find the “perfect” role what will you have achieved? Ask yourself the question, “Why?” Knowing your motivation will identify your ultimate goals and keep you on the path to success. Your motivation will also provide you with a reason to continue the re-entry process at the times it seems overwhelming.
What’s standing in your way? What doubts are running around in your head? Many will say these doubts are excuses, but acknowledging them will enable you to calmly move forward without having “the noise” in your head pulling you back and stopping you from reaching your goals.
STRENGTHS AND PASSIONS
Thirdly, if you could do anything in the world what would you do? What are you passionate about? What attributes do you do well? Identifying these strengths is extremely important. We should be leveraging our strengths 80% of our day. Wouldn’t you like your future job to be something you are good at, that energizes you (rather than sapping it), and makes you want to go to work each morning? By identifying your strengths you can better evaluate future job descriptions as a good fit. You can narrow down your choices to the right choice, and you will be able to articulate why you are the best person for that job. That will make any interviewer listen!
So use this new found “quiet time” to ask yourself key questions, reflect, and build your foundation. Following this you will be well prepared to move forward and begin the next step: creating your action plan.
Written by Wixii, Heide Garrigan, a leadership and executive coach who finds herself in many discussions with people who are wondering how they can re-enter the workforce successfully. Heide and her business partner have developed a Workforce Re-entry Workshop where participants can learn about the steps they can take, get themselves started, and find support throughout the process.