025 Looking for Work After a Long Break

Finding a job after a break, whether from raising a family, a medical issue, to care for a family member, or any other reason can have it’s unique issues. Launching your search with confidence is the topic of this episode

Scott and Andrew provide insights on how to approach situations where you have not been working for awhile.

Don’t miss these Topics:

  • Mindset of Strength
  • Personal decisions and what to share
  • Maintaining positive self-talk
  • How to make a recovery and remain resilient
  • Structuring the resume
  • Gaps and how to handle them
  • Networking conversation topics
  • Overcoming the “pigeon hole”

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Today on job seekers radio we’re talking about launching a job search after a long break I use air quotes of course because there’s a lot of reasons why you would have a break in your employment. You might have just had a child or you’re raising kids in you want to be a stay at home parent you might be on some other kind of family leave it’s all good maybe you’re taking care of whatever your parents could be a sabbatical your break from this or maybe you were lucky enough to sell your equity in a firm and you just decided you didn’t want to work anymore right number of friends who have retired early and then decided they wanted to go back into the workforce because they wanted to either regain their skill levels or maybe they wanted to start a different career in something they were more passion about I also have personal experience with long term unemployment during the Great Recession back in 2008/2009 I was unemployed for 3 years I was able to do some consulting during that time but I wasn’t really fully employed for 3 years that and that was tough.Yeah it’s hard and in some cases people will take that situation take some consulting maybe even go with the contract role all but it’s not their ideal and so there may be part time I mean they’re just doing something to pay the bills which is totally normal I think the idea here is you’re not the only one this season falls on all of us in it affect it can affect us all in the same way. right what’s really interesting is how it affects people depending upon the kind of career they’ve had those of us who had a career where change was considered normal or it’s expected I was in an industry for a while where if you were in the same job for more than a couple years people would ask why are you still doing that because there was an expectation that you would move on to a different company because that’s how you moved up there other times when somebody who’s been in a job for 25-30 years who gets laid off before they had intended to retire and now they don’t know what to do. in all these different cases we have to remember when our values are how that lack of employment affects how we perceive elements of our identity. if we identify with our career or with the role that we play that can really wreak havoc on how we view ourselves. so launching career or relaunching it after these brakes can seem daunting weed we don’t want to gloss over the emotional impact that being away from work and have on you but we can use that emotional impact really to supercharge our efforts to guide us in the right directions. They say Scott that games or one and lost by 6 inches 6 inches between your ears in the mindset checking in on your mindset self-talk is so critically important you really need to be conscious when you’re telling yourself oh do I have what it takes oh am I good enough right so I’m older how did the door but I mean there’s so many things that come into my mind that people are saying to themselves as part of this process. self-doubt and self-talk are things that I talked to people about off and I know how it worked with me I have friends that go through this remember the video that I saw about self-talk. they had opened up a boutique and I don’t know where it was might have been New York but they opened up this fashionable boutique mainly womenswear they did have some menswear there but it was mostly womenswear and it wasn’t anything that was high end they wanted to get just regular people coming in and obviously all of these clothes had tags on them. and so you’d see, in the hidden cameras everywhere you would watch people’s reactions as they would walk in and they’d look at the clothes know that looks cute and then they look at the tag expecting to see a price tag and on the tag would say of this won’t fit you in. on the next one is so you’re too big for this. and on the next one it was some other insulting comment. and to watch people’s reactions and how this was not OK and then the sales people would come up and talk to them about how they felt about it because of course these weren’t sales people they were trying to make the point. and how unacceptable this is you can’t talk to people this way. how many times do we say these things to herself I’m too old my skills aren’t good enough there always going to find somebody better I’m never going to be good enough if you can’t say these things to other people you shouldn’t be saying them to yourselves and that was the gist of the video it’s a conversation I had with people all the time it reminds me of something I heard long ago that we should all stand guard at the gate way of our mind meaning that you want to protect yourself you need to create a and the idea here is whatever you’re saying to yourself capture it and put it somewhere else right you know so I heard the one where people say oh it’s so hard it’s so hard it’s so hard I’ve been out of the workforce for so long but there telling this to themselves. They’re thinking the market saying that but it’s actually them saying that exactly what’s really interesting is when someone says that to me this is so hard I generally ask them why is it hard it is not that it isn’t it’s more the idea of giving them a different way to address it with in their own minds because they may be asking for feedback they may be asking me to refute that and tell them they’re wrong but they’re not wrong it can be hard but we make it harder when we remind ourselves how hard it is eventually we stop trying if we can’t change that that conversation so by asking them why it gives them an opportunity to change the conversation why is it hard I haven’t done it before well or it’s been a long time what do you think is changed or no one wants to hire me because I’m fill in the blank. still not like it so I asked him why do you think that’s true oh well I’m old I just I’m at a date OK let’s say that’s true what’s the liability there so that you know the liability is that I’d have to take a job for way less money than I’m worth well OK we can talk about the money in a minute not even remember that is usually representing something else that we want but lack of it or lack of it because that’s our fear really it’s not that we will lack it on our next job is that were afraid of that so fear is false evidence appearing real bright so let let’s not go there yet let’s talk about the idea that OK your old one of the benefits of being older I have experience you have experienced at that the younger set may not have what else well when I was at home with the kids I managed a calendar operations for the food I made sure the house is clean right keeping the budget making sure you’re on or under budget making sure things get done on time Stay at home parent and I talk to people regularly who say I’m just getting back into the workforce really you weren’t working at home your children were growing up what kind of work did that entail do you have been working all this time you just weren’t receiving a tradition paycheck that you made and that what you did mattered especially to the kids but also to your future employer because you understand how to balance all these competing things in fact it’s funny when my wife had we gotten our kids to school age and we had kids in school it was like hot she was ready to go back to the thing but she was like wow I haven’t worked in like 7 years that’s a long time to be saying OK well what do you been doing the last 7 years and I said you know it I’m going to craft your resume and I’m going to put on it chief operating officer Beach household yeah this this is what we put on her resume and we talked about all the things that she did and I think it’s brilliant we would you have to remember we’ve said it before I’m sure will say it again the resume is supposed to give a snapshot of your skills and experience it is not a snapshot of your income whether or not you’ve made a traditional paycheck given the job that you had in the moment is not relevant if you have done volunteer work as executive director unpaid executive director of a nonprofit believe me that is going to get the right kind of Absolutely I have The Breakfast Club which it was volunteered you know it’s not really a non for profit but it is a volunteer community service yes that I was doing so I put that on my resume and it’s on mine too and I also put it on my LinkedIn profile right so people can see that I was doing something good and that’s actually the time that I spent doing that made me qualify to have the job I have now exactly we both have had a lot of experience that we wouldn’t have had had we not let people know about what we’ve done and in terms of volunteer work I’m really surprised at how people think that putting a volunteer position is a detriment maybe there thinking that oh well I couldn’t get paid to do that work no volunteering is actually seen in a very positive light by most people so if you’ve spent a lot of time and energy doing volunteer work for good causes that is going to benefit you in the long run if you’re keeping track right so the thing I’ve seen with people as they go to do the volunteering and they do it for a different reason right to feel good don’t get me wrong that’s awesome I think it’s also important that you recognize that if you’re doing something good that you write it down sure you keep track of it that you look at what it was like before and after you actually did that works will that also gives you something to talk about when you get into your networking if someone asked me during period where all I was doing was volunteer work they asked me well what do you do oh well I lead volunteer group that is doing XY and Z it didn’t matter what it was I could then talk about the skills that I was using that might be relevant to something that may come up if I’m talking to somebody that I know I could benefit I can start talking about the ways that I’ve benefit them from what I’ve done in my past it doesn’t matter that I didn’t get paid without saying oh I’m unemployed right now Johnny jobseeker’s in fact I generally give people the advice don’t start out by saying I’m unemployed the reason why we talked about this in a prior podcast if I let somebody know hand Good points all around gosh you are awesome aren’t we yeah so did the idea here is how do we overcome this perception in our own minds and how do we engage the marketplace negative self-talk and be exacerbated if people start diving into online applications there not hearing anything that maybe not getting any interviews there assuming was me the market sucks and I’m unemployable during my long term unemployment I talked that way to myself and because that’s what it felt like when I tell people I’m just being honest if I can’t contact these hundreds of companies about how I could help them and had none of them get back to me I must be employable well not so much there’s a lot that’s out of our control in when we take unto ourselves responsibility for things that really aren’t our responsibility were going to really take ourselves off track on the other side of that when it if that’s all I’m talking about that’s how people are going to perceive me is well he’s unemployed I would much rather have people talking about me oh well he’s working in a volunteer capacity or these are the skills if that’s what I’m talking about that’s what people remember so here’s our opportunity while we’re not working yes our past we can talk about it we can talk about those skills but when we shift the conversation too what are potential looks like and the skills that we are interested in using moving forward it’s a very different conversation are self-talk changes in the way people perceive us changes there’s 2 things that I got out of that and from my perspective what I encourage people when I’m coaching them is that where you been is not nearly as important as where you’re going what does that mean well that means if I’ve been out of the marketplace for a long time I’m not under any obligation to share that with anybody sure however if I’m going to be diving into this thing called networking I should let people know where I want to go so that I can then influence my future the second thing is people will except you where the noise they know you are not for what you say you are now it’s going to take a little more effort for those people that do know you is something else to change their listening for you for the most part if you reaching out to people you don’t know there going to say oh OK so you have the skills I accept that until you do something that changes my mind well it it’s interesting you mention that to the idea that we get pigeonholed by the people that we know that’s a human tendency I mean we can’t get around that but it brings to mind a good friend of mine who has been a chief financial officer for a number of nonprofit organizations she is talented she is sick she’s everything that you would expect in a She wanted something that would be different and fulfilling and so now those of us who know her are starting to look at her in a different view well she has a wealth of information in her head that will inform the way she recruits she’s going to be a phenomenal recruiter I would never have thought she was interested in doing that we in our lives today given the current status of the economy going to probably have somewhere between 7 and 10 jobs in our careers and so even though you’ve been out for a while as long as you have a skill set that in demand you’re going to find something that you can do that you can get paid to do and if you’re one of those who think so well my skills are Tim and I’m going to challenge that most of the time we all have skillset are in demand we just have to identify them and who needs them right that’s where the networking comes in it is always looking as we encourage will actually leave in the show notes below the four part series we did on the end of a networking conversation because really were only looking for information and advice from the people that were probably needing to change out there listening for us because they know us as stay at home or long term unemployed or whatever it is they need to know how they can help us and when we start talking about what we want to do in the future weather that’s our passion job or whatever it is if our focus is on what we’re where we’re going the conversation is going to move towards where we’re going it doesn’t.

Anatomy of a Networking Conversation

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