Six Tips for Women Reentering the Workforce

You put it off. Going back to work. You worry, Have I been away too long? Do I still have relevant skills? The prospect of reentering the workforce can be daunting for many women but it doesn’t have to be. The economy is improving, unemployment is the lowest it has been in eight years and with the dawn of social media, there are more options than ever. So how do you begin? Here are six ways to help women take that first step back.

1. Network. This cannot be overstated. Create a profile on Linkedin. Contact your former colleagues, your former classmates, neighbors, people you have volunteered with, any contact you can think of. Invite them for coffee. Conduct informational interviews. You never know what it will lead to.

2. Change your thinking. You didn’t just “help the PTO run the spring social”, you organized an event for 500 people that generated revenue for a non-profit organization, you managed vendors and coordinated a team of 30 volunteers. Rethink how you spent your time away from the workforce. It all counts.

3. Be fluid. Opportunities come in many forms. Your skills may be transferrable to a role in an industry you have never worked in before. Consider temping or contract work. Often times getting in the door leads to bigger opportunities.

4. Do your research. The internet provides a bounty of information on job training, skill development and resources for your job search. Get a notebook and your laptop and do some investigating. What interests you? What kind of hours do you want to work? Create a “job profile” for yourself so you have a place to start.

5. Find a mentor. What prompts you to change something in your life? Inspiration. You see something or hear something that inspires you to make a change. The same thing applies to a job search. Having someone who serves as an inspiration is invaluable. A mentor can be a sounding board, a role model and a coach. Identify a person or several people who help provide that spark.

6. Take a chance. Nothing comes from inaction. You may find that your new job is where you least expect it. You may discover a hidden talent or find more personal fulfillment in that great new role. The reality is, without taking that first step, you will never know.