Let’s say you are going through a nasty divorce and your lawyer (and/or soon-to-be ex) advise you that you need to “get a job” – a “real one.” Let’s say that you have been a stay-at-home Mom for 30 years, a wife for 30+ years and that your job has been to run the household while your husband “the big bread winner who always calls the shots” and “makes all the money” wants to get “this transition thing wrapped up as soon as possible.” (The words in quotes represent language clients have used to describe their particular situation). So, where do you begin the process of getting a job given that you have been the stay-at-home professional for three decades? Here are a few thoughts for you to consider:
- Do not whip up a résumé first – do a résumé last, once you have undergone an assessment of your KSAs. Once you have determined your target job goals, then you are in a better position to build a customized résumé to showcase your story.
- Know your KSAs before you go to market and promote yourself and your skillset. K stands for knowledge; S stands for skills and A stands for abilities. At any time during the process of looking for a job, someone, somewhere may ask you to describe your KSAs. Know them. Name them. Own them. Articulate them to the hiring manager. Be well prepared to discuss your credentials with your network, recruiter or hiring manager.
- Get familiar with O*net Online – the coolest resource ever! Let’s say you have always thought about being a paralegal, though you have no clue what a paralegal does. Voilà – O*net Online to the rescue! Dwell there for a while. Get familiar with the language of your occupation of interest. To do otherwise is to do yourself a disservice.
- Take a few career assessments. There are assessments that are “free” and assessments for a “fee.” Once you have taken a few, make notes of what you have learned and discovered.
- Consider your confidence. If you say you have zero confidence, ask yourself what task might you do to enhance your confidence level? For starters, practice talking about yourself. If you have no human available to help you practice, practice on your own. Stand before a mirror and practice your lines. Learn your lines. Know your script. Fake it till you make it. Act the part. Do whatever it takes to get comfortable speaking about the product you. Do not interview in a state of ill-preparedness. Know your stuff!
- Do not wilt and melt when rejection hits you in the face (or greets you in an email). Thank you for applying to our company; please know that you have not been selected to move forward in the process. Wishing you continued success.” Brands attract and brands repel; find someone who thinks your brand is awesome and is willing to pay a fair rate for it! Some employers will love you and others – not so
- Do not tell yourself there are no jobs. Do not listen to people who tell you there are no jobs. Somebody, somewhere is getting hired and it might as well be YOU!
- Do not speak negatively of yourself. Speak well of yourself; respect yourself and your brand. Use positive words to describe yourself. If you don’t, who will?
- “If you can take it; you can make it.” Watching a movie trailer about Angelina Jolie’s new movie, I scribbled that line from the movie on a piece of paper. Translated, if you can take all the junk and debris that come with transition (of any variety), you will be fine – which according to The Italian Job, fine = freaked out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional! Just keep telling yourself that you are fine!
- Do not be intimidated by anyone or everyone. Remember, the person who is interviewing you is a real person – a real human who has “stuff” going on in his or her life as well. Present the very best of you when you get a chance to shine. Do not speak about your personal situation; keep the conversation professional! Stand up for yourself. Be an advocate for yourself. If you don’t, who will?