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Getting Back into the Workforce

Back to workBy: Alek Sabin

If you have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, whether for parenting reasons, being out of the country, or even suffering from an ailment that kept you from working, then you know that it can seem to be a big trick to get back into it. The nature of the beast is that the marketplace is an ever-changing amalgamation of needs and desires. If you don’t adapt to these shifting standards, then the workforce is going to leave you behind. It’s that simple. However, you don’t need to worry too much. There are plenty of useful tips for getting back into the workforce…


Assess your financial needs


The first thing you need to figure out when you are going back to work is how much you need to expect to make. To do this, you need to break out the planner and budget out exactly what your financial needs are, in regards to the lifestyle that you are attuned to living. The answers you derive here will be different for everyone, and the reason that you were out of work is likely going to have a big impact on your particular answer. For example, if you were raising kids, and they have moved out, then you probably are not financially strapped, and are looking for extra income. However, if the reason you were out of work was something like a health problem, or even a behavioral issue like jail time or addiction, then it might be harder to find a financially viable job to support your needs. It isn’t hopeless, though. Here is an exceptionally helpful article about financial struggles after addiction.


Think about what’s important to you in a job


After you know how much you need to make, then you can assess the other things that are important to you in a job search. Do you want to be able to travel for work? Do you need a job that offers plenty of time off? Or are you just looking for something to keep you busy and help pass the time? The answers to these questions are numerous, and probably incredibly specific to you. Find out what’s really important to you and what will help make your life more fulfilling. If you can afford it, it pays to be picky in this aspect.


Get face to face

Shakehand of lawyer and business woman sitting behind desk with agreement on blurred background.

The truth about job searching, even in the age of the internet, is that it is far more reliable to get face to face with someone when you are doing it. A bland online application is not going to tell you anything about working somewhere, and it’s going to convey very little to your employer about you. Rather than depend on these faceless interaction, get into the same room as quickly as you can and let them see the real, professional you. I’ve seen people have far more luck getting jobs by walking into a business and asking for one, than by trying to fill out applications, online.


See who you know


Most jobs that are attained are not done so by randomly applying to businesses. A company is far more likely to hire someone that they have a personal connection with. This can put you at a great disadvantage if you are applying somewhere that you don’t know anyone (although it doesn’t mean you are immediately out of the running). The problem is that you don’t know when the HR manager’s nephew is going to come in and sweep up the job you’re looking at, regardless of their qualifications. Because of this phenomenon, always start your job search by looking at the people closest to you. Be the person who gains from nepotism. It feels a lot better than the person who is neglected because of it.

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