Re-Entering The Job Market After Long Term Absence


When you have been out of work for a few years or, when you have been freelancing it can seem as though you are facing an impossible challenge when coming to the conclusion that it is time, and you are ready to re-enter the work force. There are countless reasons why you may have withdrawn from work for a while; care giving, maternity or paternity leave, health concerns, family needs, a stab at entrepreneurship, other life circumstances or, even a personal sabbatical but ultimately, the reason doesn’t much matter. Reentering the work force is almost always going to prove to be challenging unless you present yourself in a way that shows growth, and a reason that makes legitimate sense to a hiring manager who will either look at you as though you are a force to be reckoned with in the business field or, you are lazy and may prove to be more trouble than you are worth.

So hypothetically speaking lets play out a scenario and say that you haven’t been employed in your field in a couple of years, but now you are ready to get back to your career, and doing what it is that you love to do. What are the right actions to take?  How do you make sure that you obtain a new position that suits your chosen career, and your goals as quickly as possible so you can get back to feeling that sense of accomplishment that comes from doing what it is that you love to do, and do well which is why you have chosen this for your career in the first place even though you had to take a couple of years off in order to take care of some personal business, and focus on you for your own growth?

Update Your Resume.

Resume standards change frequently therefore, my recommendation to you is to check around the internet for the latest resume trends, pick a format that suits not just you but, your targeted field, and preferred corporations, and create a new resume that will catch the eye of hiring managers but, make sure that you fill that resume with targeted keywords that computer systems that analyze your resume will pick up selecting you to move in to the HR Manager’s or Hiring Manager’s inbox instead of in a computer recycle bin.  If this is an area that you need assistance in please feel free to contact me, and we can arrange a skype conference call to discuss creating an up to date resume at an affordable price.

Update Your Linkedin Profile.

The easiest way to utilize Linkedin is by seeing the site as a tool in order to gain the attention of a potential employer.  Potential employers will review your Linkedin page looking for up to date information therefore, the best way to accomplish this task is by logging into your profile, asking previous colleagues for endorsements of your skill set(s), and by updating your previous work history by copy and pasting the information from your newly created or revised resume and pasting it in to the appropriate sections of your profile.  The more that you interact with others in their personal postings, and the more that you interact with people in your groups you will find that you will get noticed more, and opportunities may begin to present themselves to you.

Be Prepared To Answer “THAT” Question.

When you begin interviewing for a new position, you will find that you are going to be asked why you’ve been out of the workforce for x amount of time.  Know ahead of time how you want to answer that question.  I am not saying lie or, make up a story but, instead what I am advising those of you to do that are in this position is to spend some quality time thinking about how you want to answer that question, and then practice answering that question so that you can respond without appearing as though you have been caught off guard or defensive about it which can easily happen.

Think about and KNOW your goals.

Sit down somewhere quiet, somewhere where you know, and can gain a sense of inner peace within yourself, and really reflect on what you want your goals to be both in the short term spectrum, and the long term spectrum of time.  Your goal may be to find work; nothing more and nothing less and although to a certain degree that is understandable but, to be completely honest it is a very unhealthy goal to have because, by saying my one and only goal is to find a job, any job that particular goal does not show a potential employer who will more than likely ask you what your present goals are for the short, and long term spectrum that you are wanting to grow, and challenge yourself.  Sit down, really reflect, and get out of your comfort zone bubble, and imagine what you want for yourself over the next five years.  Do you want to start out for example as a Receptionist, and then move to an Administrative Assistant or, Office Management Position, Do you want to start out as a Sales or parts clerk, and move to a Sales Manager?  Set short, and long term goals for yourself for your chosen career field, and then when interviewing for a position in that industry even for a entry level position when the subject of your goals comes up discuss them, and then turn the conversation into a question asking that employer how they feel you could best accomplish those goals inside of the company over time.

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of A Support System For Encouragement & Insight.

Although finding the right position isn’t always easy, since the recession happened in 2008, it has become even more difficult to obtain a position as there are so many people competing for a position.  In Metro Atlanta for example, HR Personnel from Wellstar, Emory, Home Depot, Coca Cola, and numerous other companies have all recently told me that they are still on average receiving 500 – 1200 resume’s for every open position that they post regardless of what suburb city the position is in.   Rejection will happen whether it’s before an interview can ever occur, during the interview or, shortly after.  There is so much competition these days that only those who are the most confident, and those who are the most proficient in their skills (with proof which is why Linkedin is so important) will excel, land the interview, and later get the position.  This however, requires a network of people whom you can lean on as a professional support system for insight, and encouragement, and something that the introvert in myself highly underestimated the power of for years.

So in conclusion, there are a few questions to ask yourself if you are re-entering the job market after a long term absence of a year or more.  Those questions are:

  • Is My Resume Up To Date?
  • Is My Linkedin Profile Up To Date?
  • What Perception Is My Social Presence (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube etc…) giving off?  (Positive encouragement goes a-lot further than negativity, and get sexual innuendo’s, and anything else that could be seen as controversial off of your public profiles – just to touch on the basics).
  • What are my short and long term goals?
  • Why was I really out of the work force for as long as I was?
  • Who do I want to surround myself with that will uplift, and encourage me as I reach and work towards my goals?

History shows that when we associate ourselves with the people that are already in the places that we want to go that we attract what we want to us when we haven’t quite made it there yet. Remember, generally speaking, the power is within you.  No one else can do the work for you except you yet, that support system full of empowering, encouraging, and positive influences can lead you to the place that you want to get to, and the position that you want to obtain just by keeping you positive through what can be a challenging process but, attainable with the right tools, and people in your life.


4 thoughts on “Re-Entering The Job Market After Long Term Absence

  1. I have been out of the corporate race since 2007. I started working from home and constantly self-educating myself on what is “trending” technology and social media wise. I am kind of reinventing myself but still maintaining and enhancing my marketing/advertising core. I have been working from home now. I don’t miss the crunch, but just the dynamic of an office chaos once in a while, lol .Sound advice. Thanks for dropping by:) Have a wonderful weekend.-PD

    1. Hey there,

      Thanks for stopping by. I know exactly what you mean. I left the corporate field in 2012 for the last time. After facing company closure after company closure, working for companies that I would later find out were engaging in illegal activity, and then working for a company that wrote over $3500.00 in bad checks I finally said enough because, I was mentally, as well as financially drained because it was just one bad “opportunity” after another for years straight, and I wanted more for myself than to live in constant stress, worry, and feeling stuck – all within a city that is full of large corporations, and small businesses.

      The re-invention takes time. I am doing the same but, what I’ve come to realize is that it starts with a firm choice, and then an action that leads you to where it is that you truly want to be. Sit down, map out your goals, and then take the first step. Once I did that, everything else fell into play almost instantaneously and I hadn’t even put up a single ad yet.

      The only thing that I miss is the guaranteed paycheck out of corporate america but, with that said I’ve also found that doing what you love to do creates a happiness that you’d never get in the corporate field, and for me it’s a sacrifice that was not only right for me but, absolutely worth making. It took a long time for everything to fall into place but, once it did boy, did sun ever come out. It’s an awesome feeling. 🙂

      1. ha ha, amen to everything that you said. The exciting part is going back to school and learning old new things. I came to appreciate time and talent and just the endless possibilities. Yup , guaranteed income is missed, I really like your blog. Happy I found you:)

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