Getting back to work can be daunting. Are you really ready? What kind of challenges are you going to face? The best bet is to be as prepared as possible for the challenges. We dealt with some of the issues in Part 1. In this concluding post, we focus on some more key aspects that you'll need to pay attention to as you gear up for your reentry into the workforce.
Upgrade your skills
Are there latest trends/skills in your industry that you could ramp up on? It’s easy to lose touch with some developments, but it’s definitely not difficult to get up to speed. Most domains have short term courses where you can do a deep dive into the developments so that you’re back on top of the game. Check out online education resources like Lynda, Udemy, and Coursera. Many universities also offer some of their courses online.
Network, as if your life depends on it!
One of the most important things you can do is to start reaching out, making new contacts, renewing old ones. And remember – every contact might not lead you to your job. But it will lead you one step closer. Dig up your old contacts and reach out to them. It might not hurt to mention that you’re looking out for relevant opportunities.
You never know who can be a resource for you, if not today, maybe sometime in the future.
Join a professional organization
Look for groups in your area where you can find professionals in your line of work. They might even have interesting and useful networking events you can be a part of. Volunteering for some of these organizations is also another way of getting acquainted with the latest going-ons in the working world. MeetUp is one resource which can lead you to relevant groups.
The Women Back to Work program has also been formed with this goal in mind—to connect talented women wanting to get back to the workforce and companies who want to hire such professionals. Being a part of a program like WBW can help you network, upgrade your skills and find the much-needed support.
Find a mentor
Whether you’re looking for a job or are well entrenched in your career, a mentor can provide you valuable insights and direction. My manager in my earlier job was a great mentor for me – I always looked to him for professional advice. What I really appreciated was the fact that he never interfered about the little things, but always was ready to give advice about the larger picture, something that all of us need from time to time.
You often need someone on the outside to give you a better perspective. You might find this mentor in your own manager, or someone else you admire.
The most important thing to remember is to be positive and not lose hope as you get ready to step back into the corporate world. You are the only person who can get you that break! Once you take responsibility, make sure you use all the tools and resources you need to help you achieve your goal.
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