Numerous studies show that women returning to the work force face systemic barriers, often equated to the amount of their hiatus time. The more time off, the harder it is to get hired. Also, in many industries, technology is changing at such a rapid pace, it puts women at a further disadvantage. When considering going back to work, it can be difficult and overwhelming to even update your resume, or as I like to call it having analysis paralysis. Here are a few things that can jump start the process.
- Update your skills
The first step is to focus on your strengths by making (and maintaining) a list. It could be from previous work experience, volunteer involvement, contract work or even just helping a friend with their business. You will be amazed at how much you may have accomplished. And yes, multi-tasking counts!! Be specific with any results such as Co-chaired school fundraiser and raised $XXX or Increased social media presence by 15%.
Additionally, check out the latest trends in your preferred industry to see how you compare. If there are holes, take a class or webinar to educate yourself. MomSource Network offers live and recorded webinar series!
- Refresh or kick off your social media presence
Start by cleaning up and updating your current profile or creating one. This should be across all platforms, no human resource director wants to see your bikini pics from your recent vacation, no matter how great you look! In fact, 92% of recruiters surveyed by ADWEEK claim to use social media to find high quality candidates so make sure it professional.
Also, Linked In is a huge professional tool and the format is ever changing. Be sure to include skills and ask friends and other professionals to “endorse” these skills. Build your online network and follow businesses in your industry and “Influencers”, and MomSource Network of course! If this seems like a daunting task, check out webinar on this very topic.
- Network, Network, Network
One of the most important thing you can do is network! Reach out to current friends/acquaintances, renew relationships from previous employments, engage new contacts from anywhere and everywhere. Create your own elevator pitch and give it to everyone you meet. Additionally, target key people and ask them to meet for coffee or lunch to discuss potential opportunities. You never know who could be a resource for you, even if not today, but possibly in the future.
- Join a professional organization
Find groups within your industry, either locally or nationally. Alumni organizations are also a great and often fun way to network. Additionally, local women’s organizations are a fantastic resource. The key is to get involved! This could mean attending events or lecture series but also volunteering. Strategic engagement is a great way to become re-acquainted with professionals.
- Find a Mentor (or two)
A mentor can provide you valuable insight and direction wherever you are in your life. This person could be someone you admire, a previous employer or boss, or someone new. Seeking advice or input on your goals is an easy way to organically grow the relationship. This person should be your champion and supporter but also provide honest feedback and accountability. The relationship should be balanced for both mentor and mentee.
The last thing is to be patient and stay positive! You may not immediately regain the pay and prestige you had before and you may not desire the same faced pace business world. Present yourself as a working professional and utilize the tools available, including MomSource Network!
by Lynette Russell
Lynette is a proud second-generation Tampa native. She graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Business and Marketing and spent most of her career in business development and management. After 13 years with Tenet Healthcare and the birth of her third child, she left corporate America to focus on her family and volunteer work. She most recently served as the President of the Junior League of Tampa (which has over 1,900 members) and is committed to sharing her passion of service work with her family. She is married to Rick and has three busy children. She spends countless hours on soccer fields throughout the state cheering on her boys, but is also a very busy dance mom.
When Lynette first heard about the MomSource Network she was immediately drawn to its mission and values. She is excited to help other professionals find a work/life balance through flexible employment that will help them meet their career and family goals while also providing employers the talent needed to succeed.