With recent shake-ups in the broader global economy, more workers than ever are coming out of an extended absence and trying to plug back into the job search. Whether you’re reentering the workforce from being a stay-at-home parent, looking for full-time work, or simply filling some income gaps with a part-time job, this list of tips will help you learn how to return to the workforce.
Common Challenges When Re-Entering The Workforce
There are plenty of reasons a worker might leave their preferred field for a period of time. Maybe they needed a break to recover from a medical issue. Perhaps the industry they worked in before is no longer viable. Or, you won the lottery and spent the last two years playing video games, only to watch your savings dry up.
Whatever the reason, reentering the workforce after a long absence can be challenging. The fundamental problem will be the loss of vital skills and confidence. The technology you use at work may have advanced rapidly, requiring you to adapt and learn new tricks of the trade. Employers may hesitate to hire someone with significant gaps on their resume, although this is becoming less common. Lastly, reentering the workforce will require an update to your work-life balance.
Tips For Getting Back Into The Workforce
Focus Your Job Search
Using modern job-search tools makes applying for work more effortless than the days of having to hand-deliver a paper resume. You can easily apply for hundreds of jobs in an hour. But it’s important to remember that even though you can, that doesn’t mean you should. Wasting time applying for jobs that don’t fit your qualifications slows your momentum. Only apply for jobs you could see yourself working, meaning they fit into your schedule, pay enough for your lifestyle, and only ask for labor that you can deliver consistently.
Update Your Skills
While you were away, the industry you used to be a part of continued to advance. This means you’ll need to keep up-to-date on new platforms or techniques used at your job. Often, learning just enough about the new techniques to speak confidently about them will be enough to get your foot in the door, giving you a chance to learn new skills on-the-job.
Refresh Your Resume
A stale resume can make you seem out of touch, no matter what work you do. Ensure you’ve updated your paperwork to appear modern and cleanly formatted, or all that work history you’ve put down might get thrown into management’s recycling bin. Proofread your work and ask a peer in the same industry to check it.
Expand and Utilize Your Network
Networking is one of the most important soft skills in the 2023 economy, no matter what kind of work you do. While it can sound cynical to say that “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” many tasks in most modern workspaces have high subjectivity when gauging results. Having peers that will vouch for the quality of your work and professionalism and peers willing to act in mutual self-interest is more valuable than anything you could write on a resume.
Customize Your Cover Letters
Cover letters are an excellent way to include some of your personality alongside your resume. This is important for showing you are capable of becoming a compatible member of the team. Only make a cover letter once you’ve already got a feeling for what the company you’re applying to might be like. Then, you can tailor aspects of your presentation to match the tone of the workforce you’re seeking to join. After all, not all jobs are equal, and not all managers are seeking a milquetoast paper-pusher. Remember, be confident talking about your qualifications.
The interview process is the final line between you and your desired work. Knowing how to conduct yourself during an interview is essential, and nowadays, many interviews are conducted via video chat software. Punctuality and professional presentation are still important, even if you’re interviewing from your kitchen table. Show up to the interview chat room a few minutes early to run audio and video tests. That way, you aren’t struggling with microphone permissions when you should be kicking open the door to your new career.
Consider Part-Time or Contract Work
While it can be some work to juggle, the freedom and flexibility offered by part-time or contract work can be a huge boon for some lifestyles and career paths. Having multiple bosses can be a pain, but it also gives you some leverage with each of them. If you’re already very self-sufficient, part-time jobs could be the way to go.
Finding a job after long-term unemployment can be quite a challenge. Stay on the lookout for good opportunities, and don’t give up! If you need a background check during your job hunt, KarmaCheck can help! We offer background checks with a fast turnaround time so you can reenter the workforce quicker.