Going Back to Work? Start Fresh…And Smart!

If you are among the thousands of women who will be sticking their toes back in the job-hunting stream soon, take a deep breath! It’s okay to feel a bit nervous.

Whether you’ve been at home raising a family, suffered recent divorce or widowhood, lost your employment, or re-located, the game remains the same. You want to find the best-paying, most interesting and fulfilling work you possibly can. The secret? Boost your past experience with a fresh dose of career exploration and workplace insight.

While your past work experience can be a valuable asset, don’t let it limit your vision of the future. Change is constant. The workplace you left is not likely to be the same one you’ll return to. Make yourself career-ready by studying your own strengths, needs, and aspirations as well as the current state of the working world.

Thoughtful research and good planning will smooth your way back into the job market. Here are some ideas for a smart fresh start:

1. Know Yourself
The more you discover about yourself, your likes and dislikes, your strengths, your passionate concerns and goals, the better your chances of building a happy work life. Who you are determines what you do best and how much you enjoy doing it.

2. Map Your Job Pros and Cons
Make a list of the things you liked and disliked about the jobs you have held in the past. What tasks did you really enjoy? Which ones were not satisfying for you? Like the graphic artist who became an art therapist, you may find a career path that uses your experience but takes you in a positive new direction.

3. Study Your Target Market
Once you know the kind of work you are looking for, find out how people train and gain access to that career path. The Internet, the local college career center, professional conferences are all great sources of up-to-date information. You may need to take courses or do some volunteering to gain fresh exposure to your chosen field.

4. Build Your Network
People you know and people you’ll get to know are the best source of job leads and inside track opportunities. From dress code to buzzwords, your network of friends, colleagues and contacts can supply the current information you need. Be willing to ask for help and be a resource for others when you can.

As a woman making a well-planned return to the work force, you have a unique opportunity to shape a career that will enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

2 thoughts on “Going Back to Work? Start Fresh…And Smart!”

  1. Candace, what great work you are doing here. I am a retired female financial advisor with 27 years of learning under my belt. As I read this article I hope that more women consider becoming FFAs. Your role model is perfect for them to get the picture of what it takes to succeed…and in this male dominated industry it takes a little Moxie!
    By my calculations, 99.9% of current FFAs were trained by a man, to sell like a man, to a man…and that is about to change! With 80% of all the women in the nation involved daily in making financial decisions, we need more women to service them and more advisors knowing what it is women want.
    If your women do decide to go into financial services, I hope that the existing women in our industry will embrace these courageous women and mentor them to success. It is a wonderful career, allowing a phenomenal work/life balance and the only glass ceiling is self imposed.
    http://www.themoxiementor.com has a national job search section where they can post their resumes for free. We’ve narrowed the categories down pretty tight so I hope they can attain success finding something that they want.
    Maybe someday down the road I will have the pleasure of meeting up with some of them when they are ready to build their Moxie to help them reach heights they only dreamed of before.
    Good Luck to all!
    Judy Brosky
    The Moxie Mentor empowering FFAs to put on their heels and reach new heights. Have the courage to be audacious.

    1. Hi Judy–

      The financial services industry is a great field for women. I think women are underrepresented because of a lack of confidence and some are intimidated by making decisions based on the unpredictable market. They don’t realize much of our work is really helping people budget, building financial plans and finally put together long term investment plans. Because we women are naturally consultative and caring, this career provides a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s a truly good thing! I wish there were many more women in this industry. I’m looking to add on a person to my practice right now– and am having a hard time finding her.

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