I turned on my computer this morning to find a popup from Monsters (an online job search company). It asked me “What are you born to be?”

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a Mom and I have succeeded in this goal. Our children are still young, but that won’t always be the case. In a few years, I’ll face the same question a lot of stay home mom’s do, “Now what do I do?”

You may be returning to work from a long break in employment, or being downsized like a friend of mine (after 25 years of being head of Human Resources for a major company), or working at the same company for many years and needing a change.

So what are you born to be? It is hard to look past what feels like limitations because your past experience/education has been long outdated. What skills do you have to offer now? How do you jump back into the employment market now made for the young upcoming generation?

My mom found herself in this situation. Her personality has helped her to get a few manufacturing type jobs she has applied for since my sister and I started high school (now we have our own families). My mom and I have been talking even more about job hunting the last few months because she has found herself still wanting to work instead of full retirement, but not wanting to work at just any job. She realized that she isn’t very computer literate and has a very outdated resume. Plus she was wondering if her age (she still isn’t very old – a young retiree) would have an effect on whether companies would be willing to hire her.

I directed my mom to different resources that I thought could help her. Here a list of a few things to possibly help you too (and for me to refer to when I come to that point in a few years):

  • consult with an employment specialist for one on one help or group seminars
    • they help to identify areas needing improvement, identify your current skills and what you have to offer, help revamp and update your resume to get past today’s screening processes, interview questions to practice answering, where to find jobs related to your skills/experience, and even moral support
  • government employment centers have resources for job hunting, resume updating, courses to improve/add to your current skill set
    • my Aunt completed a course made available and subsidized by the government to help her have her current job as a Personal Support Worker at a Nursing Home
    • my mom consulted with a group that administers some government programs which helped her update her resume and helped her find jobs available in her desired work area
      • she discovered a program that makes it more appealing for employers to hire people that need some training. Half of her wages could be paid through this government program for a short period of time, allowing her to get her foot in the door and then able to gain the outdated skills that were lacking
  • friends with skills are a great resource for help updating resumes, practicing interview questions with, moral support, or even helping you learn some necessary skills. We have been able to help some friends learn/update some skills needed relating to the computer
  • your last work placement/spouses current work placement may have employment councilors/resources available to help

Whatever the reason you have found yourself feeling under qualified or outdated, you are not alone in feeling that way, and you are certainly not left on your own to find a way to overcome it by yourself.

What have you done to overcome the roadblocks of returning to work/changing your career?