Women have been disproportionately affected by job loss during the pandemic, while others have had to resign to care for family members. Then there are all that ladies that have re-evaluated their current roles over the last year and determined it is time to pivot. As a result, many women are or will be looking for work in a tough economy. While the circumstances that led here may not have been desirable, it is exciting to start dreaming about the possibilities and the beginning of something new. Starting out with a solid career plan in place can help you to be more focused and strategic while exploring opportunities.
Step 1 – Create the Plan
What am I good at and what do I enjoy doing? This critical question can sometimes get overlooked in the sense of urgency that comes with FINDING A JOB NOW. Take a self-assessment of your skillset and the types of work you most enjoy. Skills should include “hard” skills – technical ones like specific knowledge or abilities as well as “soft” skills that are necessary in the workplace – communication, presentation, analytical ability, etc. Put it all down on paper and see what emerges. Is it what you expected?
Are my qualifications up to date? Or do I need to obtain new knowledge to pursue a different type of opportunity? A lengthy gap in employment may have resulted in technological advances that require additional education or training. Pivoting to another field to pursue something you are more passionate about may likewise require you to obtain skills or certifications that you do not currently possess. If additional schooling is required, how much time and money will that cost? Will it be worth it?
Which leads to the next question…
Where do I want to be salary wise? Online resources such as The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics can give you an idea of average salaries nationally as well as projected job growth by region for general job titles.
What are my most important job satisfaction factors? These are lifestyle or quality of life considerations and can include things like salary, must-have benefits, desired geography, scheduling flexibility, work from home options, and contributing to work that is meaningful.
Step 2 – Execute the Plan
Does my resume reflect my qualifications in the best possible light? And yes, cover letters are critical in a competitive job market. Consider running them by a qualified resume writer if you need help.
Are there particular industries or employers to target in my job search? A quick job search on Indeed.com or LinkedIn can show you what companies are hiring and how plentiful jobs are currently. In some industries, agency recruiters can be very helpful in getting you seen by hiring managers.
How can I work my network to increase my opportunities? Keep in touch with friends, family, and professional contacts. Let them know about your plan. Be active on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Be visible in professional organizations, make sure you are spending your time in the right (virtual) rooms with the right people. Be helpful to other people who are also pursuing their own paths.
Remember, a lot goes into getting the job of your dreams. Make sure you know what you want, have completed your due diligence, and have an actionable plan in place. This may seem like a lot, but take it one step at a time and take help when you need a hand. The next step in your career is right around the corner.
Jessica Milewski is a human resources/recruitment professional, masters level educated in management and SHRM/HRCI certified, currently being her own boss lady as a resume writer/career coach. As her six-year-old daughter likes to explain “Her job is helping other people find jobs”. For help with your own job search, you can find her at GreenLight Resumes and Career Consulting, www.greenlightcareers.com.