Before you start your job search, it’s important to have a clear goal and connections who will help you target both the industry and the role you’d like to work in.
Do your research: While you may think “taking just a few years off work” isn’t long, the job market can evolve in just a short period of time. Look to understand what types of roles companies are seeking to fill and what skills you’ll need to land those jobs. Spend a few hours a day researching the latest news trends in your selected industry—you’ll be amazed what you can find out online or from chatting with people who are already working there.
Upgrade your education: Consider taking a few refresher classes or going as far as working towards a diploma or certificate. This will help you gain the skills and knowledge specific to the position you’re going after. Plus, highlighting your recent accomplishments on your resume may give you a competitive edge over other applicants.
Update your resume: Your time away might make you feel like you have nothing new to add to your resume, but many times that’s just not true. Try to think of any projects, experiences, volunteer work and, as mentioned, classes, or skills you have developed while away.
Part-time or temporary: The reality of re-entering the workforce is that you might have to make some compromises, especially in the beginning, to get your foot in the door and get recent experience on your new resume. Explore and be open to temporary, part-time, project or contract work.
Check your confidence: Getting back into the job market can be nerve-racking! However, work to approach this process with a positive attitude, confidence in yourself, and faith in your own abilities.
Craft your elevator pitch: Be ready to explain who you are, what you want and a quick summary of your key qualifications. State how you’ve progressed and improved during your time away.
Reach out: With 250 plus online applications in hand for each position, employers are looking for the shortest and safest route to finding a candidate. When you find a job you’d like, check LinkedIn to see who you might know at the company and request an informational interview. And, before you apply, try to find an advocate who will vouch for you and/or help you. If you don’t have any connections, find someone on the team who you have something in common with and reach out with a thoughtful cold email.
Continue to support worthy causes: Retirement, even if it’s temporary, allows you the time to get behind the organizations and causes you are most passionate about. This will not only help you stay engaged, connected and active but will help you meet new people and stay mentally sharp while you’re hunting for a new position.