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Get Your Groove Back: How To Find A Job After A Long Absence

It’s normal to feel apprehensive about re-entering the workforce after a long absence. Our insecurity is triggered by the gap in our résumé. Have our skills gone rusty? Can we ever catch up with peers who have accumulated work experience while we were away? Don’t think about what you don’t have—focus on what you can do well and how to do it better. The good news is that technology makes it a lot easier and faster to sharpen skills.

Here are five steps to return to your old fighting form:

Step 1: List down everything? you can do well?

Dig up your old CV if you need to, but don’t brush off what you may have learned informally at home. People may be willing to pay good money for your fantastic apple pie. 

Include your other talents in your ?CV. Olivia J. had less formal marketing experience, but she got a good job at a?Web startup because she could write, ?take pictures, and was social media savvy. Smaller companies like multitaskers, and are as equally impressed by a well-rounded résumé than long years in a one-career track.

Step 2: Take classes

Once you have an honest look at what you can do, think about how you can do them better: take short courses, weekend seminars, or online classes. These certifications beef up your résumé and also widen your network—your classmate or professor could have leads about openings or business opportunities. You might even hear this: “I met a blogger at a digital marketing seminar who introduced me to a company thatneeded someone to write their brochure. It was a short project, but I was able?to get a sales job in that company.”

Think of your classes as an investment and enroll with an entrepreneurial mindset. A good peg for assessing if you can afford to take a class is calculating how long it will take you to earn back your tuition. For example, a cooking class costs P5,000. How many cakes do? you have to sell to earn back the money?

Another avenue to explore are free online courses being offered online, which range from general knowledge ?to specific skills. 

Step 3: Talk to people in the business

Network not just to get clients or learn about job openings, but to get an idea of what is in demand or what the gap is in the market. Ask former officemates out to lunch, join clubs or organizations, and if there’s a trade show or conference, show up with calling cards!

Make it easy, too, for the people you meet to see your work or spread the word about your skills. It could be as simple as putting up a Facebook page or creating an online portfolio.

Step 4: Accept projects and/or contract work

Start with small projects. Online is a great place to look for freelance jobs on writing, data encoding or what have you. Look for small projects that can get you started and help build your portfolio. A great place to start would be odesk.com.

Step 5: Find a mentor

Still unsure about certain things? Look? for someone who has successfully transitioned from being a stay-at-home mom to a working mom. Your mentor does not have to be an actual person you know, but it must be someone who has successfully done what you want to do and serve as a role model. Follow this person’s blog, social media page or life story for some aspiration and inspiration!