Tips For Women Rejoining the Workforce

Lori CornmesserJump starting a career after a gap of employment can be a difficult challenge. With roughly 40% of all women taking time off from working full time to care for their families, knowing how to pick up where you left off is crucial. A recent article on outlined some advice for women who are looking to reintroduce themselves into the workforce from Carol Fishman Cohen. Cohen is cofounder of iRelaunch, a firm that has been helping women get back to work since 2006.

1. What do you want to do?

Often after a time away from work, a person’s interests can change. A woman returning to work would do well to take time beforehand to determine where her interests lie. If an a particular field interests you that differs from your previous professional experience, Cohen suggests consulting your college alumni office who often offer career assessments to past graduates.

2. Reconnect.

If you are returning to the workplace, seek out people from your past. Do not be concerned about people not wanting to get back in touch. Networking is so important and chances are that you’re old acquaintances and co-workers would love to reconnect.

3. Research employers on social media.

Most companies these days have a substantial online presence and there is a plethora of free information out there for the woman looking to reinvigorate her career. Research companies on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other outlets. Also, let employers know that you used social media to seek them out to let them know you are savvy in those quarters.

4. Get up to speed.

Depending on your field, some re-engagement with nuts and bolts may be in order. Refresher courses or reading up on the latest techniques and technologies may be in order to make sure that your skills are up to date.

5. Propose a trial run.

Some employers may be hesitant to hire a person with such a long gap in employment. Cohen suggests that women in this position propose a trial run or “internship-like deal” so that an employer can see you in action before offering a permanent position. The employer receives an obligation-free deal, and you get a back into the swing of things.

6. Propose an internship-like contract.

Some companies may be reluctant to hire you with a major gap in your resume. You can propose an internship-like deal, where you work on a specific project or for a pre-determined period of time. This way, an employee gets a “test run” with you without committing, and you get back in the game.

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