After a long career break, many can find it difficult to even know where to begin when they look to return to work. Your Morning spoke with a public speaking coach, Lauren Ferraro, to identify the challenges these people face, and the resources available to help them with this tough journey back into the workforce.
There are multiple groups of people trying to get back into the workplace—it’s not only parents who are trying to get back into the industry. We’re talking about people who want to switch careers—men and women in their 50-60’s—mothers and fathers, students, individuals who take time off to battle sickness or to look after their loved ones, new immigrants, military personnel and more. There are many different reasons to step away and step back into work. There is no ageism; this has changed.
There are two big obstacles they face. First, it’s that these individuals are not up-to-date, since they haven’t done their research on what has changed, who the major influencers are in their industry, and other fluid elements of the workforce that can be difficult to keep up with. Second – themselves. Career returners don’t value what they have to offer – even if they have 70 per cent of the items an employer is looking for, they should still apply! Women tend to hold themselves back and get in their own way.
Here are some interview tips:
Research is key
Research the latest development in your industry, research yourself and what you have to offer, research jobs available in the industry, dust off your resume (LinkedIn and social media) and practice talking. It’s beyond a matter of having high self-confidence – you need to know the skills you have that you bring to a job (i.e. good time management and speaking skills) and what you value.
After researching what jobs are available in the industry you’re interested in—and how your skills can be part of that—you need to figure out in what areas you need to upgrade your skills. There are plenty of free online training courses.
You need to be able to, in 30 seconds, explain what you do and what you offer. Then you will be able to comfortably walk into a room, since you’re not there asking for a job any more.
Most of the time, people load their resume with lies. Honesty is crucial! You can’t say that you are good at everything or that your weakness is time management – you can, instead, say that you are not good at public speaking or writing copy for a magazine. This is great, because the employer can now get someone to teach you. Employers are tired of hiring the wrong person. What usually happens is an employer would hire someone because of their “stunning” resume, but the employee wouldn’t last more than three months because they were not forthcoming about their skill sets.
Remember: it’s not that you have a resume, but what you do with it and how you present yourself.