Like Hillary … many seasoned professional women who reenter the workforce and vie for top positions, after a multi-year hiatus, wonder if they can make a strong comeback.
Like Hillary… they rely on experience and beefy resumes to maintain their market value. They feel they are better qualified, tested candidates, with proven track records to hit the ground running on day one.
Like Hillary… they are less of a risk to employers and do not need the on-the-job-training that many of their lesser-experienced opponents require.
However, true, these women are often not the recruiter’s choice for nominee. In the final battle, they find themselves explaining time gaps on their resumes and struggling to beat out less qualified candidates in interviews because they fail to stay visible, credible, confident, and connected during the hiatus.
The Good News
For many professional women, reentering the workforce after a hiatus can daunting. However, the good news is that the process of maintaining your marketability “during your hiatus” is not nearly as difficult as dealing with the stress and frustration of an uphill reentry battle.
The idea of staying in demand “during your hiatus” is simple: “maintain your market-value when you step-out to increase your marketability when you step-back-in.” But even that can seem overwhelming with the myriad of competing priorities you have to juggle on the home front.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Before you begin haphazardly trying traditional job search strategies to re-launch your career it’s wise to invest some time and thought into cultivating a comeback plan. Your comeback plan will help you create a strategy for getting you from where you were, to where you are now, to where you want to be.
If you’ve been out of the workforce for more than six-months and you plan to return someday, use the following 8 tips to help you get started …
1. Remember Your Value
Prior to leaving the workforce you were valuable to your employer and made significant contributions to the organizations you worked for. When you step out of the workforce it is important that you remember your value. Make a top ten list of your most precious accomplishments, contributions and achievements. This could be something as small as an idea that you once shared at a meeting which lead to some major happening in your department. List those small ideas that contributed to the bottom line or generated a return on investment. Give yourself credit now, even if you didn’t receive credit for it then.
2. Expect Success
Many women on hiatus don’t expect to reenter the workforce successfully. They loose their career confidence and they forget their value. They are told to lower their expectations and be willing to accept less and eventually they get what they settle for. Remember, if you expect defeat you are likely to be defeated.
3. Pursue Your Passion
Of all the things you’ve done in your career thus far what captured your interest and heart the most? What is most precious to you? You’re greatest impact can be made when you are truly passionate about what you do. Your genuine authenticity will take you to the next level in your career journey and there you will find the freedom, balance, autonomy and flexibility you’re looking for. This is the point where you abandon the status quo and embrace your uniqueness.
4. Maintain your market value and visibility
Take a proactive role to save the life of your career. Invest in maintaining your own market value and visibility while you’re out. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your comeback strategy.
5. Capitalize on your intellectual capital
Leverage and transform the knowledge, education, expertise, ideas, experiences resources and contacts that you have acquired over X number of years to into value-laden information products and services that can increase the value of what you know and add value to who you want to know.
6. Position yourself as the expert.
Whether you decide to return to the workforce or pursue your passion through entrepreneurship, by positioning yourself as the expert in your field, you can attract more recruiters and employers or customers and clients into your sphere of influence with ease.
7. Increase the value of what you know.
Package your knowledge into a variety of low-cost, high-profit formats that increase your perceived value and earning potential in the marketplace.
8. Add upfront value to who you know and who you want to know.
When you provide upfront value to the people you know and the people you want to know in the marketplace, they will come to you sure that you have what they are looking for when they are ready to buy.