A brand new year is here. Are you preparing to dive back into the workforce as you wave your Preppy child goodbye at the school gate? Or is 2017 simply your time to shine? Here’s how.
Whether you’ve been away from work for seven days or seven years, the prospect of starting a new job or heading back to an old one can be daunting.
Helping employees with the transition into a new role is all in a day’s work for Linda Callander. With 24 years of experience behind her, Linda’s business, hirewell, is a total work solution helping connect job seekers and business. Under hirewell, Linda acts as a mentor/coach to empower job seekers (especially those women who are returning to work after a long stint of child rearing) to apply for new work, manage the minefield that is the selection process and then provide that helping hand to get them through the trying first few days in their new job.
haven asked Linda to share her best tips for organisation, new ventures and the best steps to getting your dream job. Here’s what she had to say:
- Play to your strengths: If you’re on the hunt for a new job, think about what you love and what you’re good at. Don’t just wait for the advertisement – approach your dream job about entry-level positions or work experience opportunities. “Dreaming of becoming a vet? Spend your weekends volunteering at the RSPCA,” Linda says. “This kind of experience cannot be bought.”
- Work with your schedule: Talk to other mums and dads about more family-friendly workplaces. Retail, hospitality and tourism are good places to start as they can offer flexible work hours, as are call centre jobs. Just do your research, says Linda.
- Polish your resume(s): Ensure it looks professional and provide actual examples of your skills and experience to show you’re hard-working and enthusiastic. Don’t forget to list charities or kindergarten fundraisers you’ve been involved in, for example. Consider having two resumes for different skill sets.
- Make an impression: If you’re handing in resumes, ensure you are polite and clear about your reason for being there. This is the first part of the interview process, so dress and speak appropriately. “I know more than one story of candidates securing roles by being in the right place at the right time, looking the part and being happy to wait and interview on the spot,” Linda says.
- Keep your chin up: “When you’re on the hunt for a job, it’s easy to get disheartened by the ‘thanks but you were not successful this time’ emails,” says Linda. Get advice on your resume from someone you trust, or have an expert help you put it together. Most importantly, just take a deep breath and remember everyone gets a little nervous at interviews.
- Consider all options: Write a list of all the things that need to be done before going back to work – from day-care to after school activities to an emergency care plan for sick days. What are your options for childcare? An au pair is a good option for after-school chores and evening routines, and sharing with other families can help with the cost.
- Have a settling-in period: Linda suggests a “settling-in” period before the first day back at work. “Heading off to work on your first day while dropping kids on their first day at a new day-care or school equals potential disaster,” she says.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule: Stay in the swing of things with detailed planners and spend time preparing weekly meals on the weekends. But don’t sweat it if they have a sandwich for dinner and a night without a bath! “Take a deep breath and remember to share the love – 10 minutes of bedtime reading and cuddles at the end of a crazy day helps everyone re focus. Do what works for you and try not to stretch yourself too thin!”
Words: Anastasia White