RE-ENTERING WORKFORCE AFTER CAREER BREAK
- The Work-Life Equation, Episode 1: Returning to Work as a Parent. In this first “on-the-go” podcast by Bright Horizons, Sheila Murphy, Partner/Co-Founder of FlexProfessionals, discusses returning to work after parental leave or longer career breaks. Sheila provides guidance about the new realities of being a working parent for the first time (or returning after a long break) and practical tips to help you feel confident about your return. This podcast is also available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.
- Kids are Back in School – Is This Your Year to Get Back to Work? Here are 5 Tips to Get Ready, September 2014, FlexProfessionals, LLC. September is one of our favorite months at FlexProfessionals. It is a time when our candidate pool fills with talented stay-at-home moms (and dads) who decide to go back to work. Here are some tips that will help you get ready.
- Strategies for Stay-at-Home Parents Re-Entering the Workforce, FlexProfessionals, LLC. FlexProfessionals shares advice for overcoming some of the common challenges encountered when going back to work after a career break.
- 11 Tips for Stay-At-Home Moms Who Want to Go Back to Work, April 2014, Samantha Parent Walravens, Writer, ModernMom.com.
- 7 Ways Women Can Opt Back into the Workforce, August 2013, Kerry Hannon, Contributor, Forbes.com.
- For Women in Midlife, Career Gains Slip Away, June 2014, Dionne Searcey, The New York Times. Interesting article about the growing numbers of women in their 40s and 50s who have been pushed out of the labor market.
- Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work, August 2008, Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, Co-Founders, irelaunch. This career re-entry strategy book contains a wealth of practical advice for professionals preparing to return to work after a career break.
CAREER EXPLORATION/CAREER TRANSITION
- The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is the nation’s primary source for occupational information, developed by the U.S. Department of Labor. This robust database is available at no cost and contains in-depth intelligence about industries and occupations. It is a great resource for exploring and researching occupations that match your skillset.
- Vault – Career Intelligence is a website for researching industries, job titles and potential career paths.
- Spotlight on Careers is another website for exploring industries and potential career paths.
- Pivotplanet allows you to explore a new career . . . from acupuncturist to toxicologist and much more! For an hourly fee, you can hire an expert in a career field of interest to mentor you and offer advice on the ins and outs of his/her field of expertise.
- idealist is a great site for those looking for mission-driven careers. It contains jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, networking opportunities, and career advice.
- What Color is Your Parachute?, August 2013, Richard N. Bolles. This practical guide will help identify your passions and careers through which you can embrace them. It is also full of job search tips and guidance.
- What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job, April 2010, Kerry Hannon. This book is filled with inspiring stories from real people who have changed careers mid-life.
SELF-ASSESSMENT: IDENTIFY TOP SKILLS, PERSONALITY TRAITS & VALUES
- Career Anchors: The Changing Nature of Careers Self-Assessment, May 2013, Edgar H. Schein. Schein uses a career assessment instrument to help individuals identify their anchors and to think about how their values relate to their career choices.
- ME 2.0, October 2010, by “personal branding guru” Dan Schawbel. This book offers a 4-step process for discovering, creating, communicating and maintaining your personal brand. It also shows how to use social media for job search and career development.
- O’Net Interest Profiler is a free self-assessment tool that is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*Net). The profiler will identify your broad interest areas so you can use the results to explore the world of work. This tool is especially useful to job seekers re-entering the workforce or looking to change careers.
- University of South Carolina Personal Qualities Worksheet will help you narrow down your top 3-5 traits that you consistently convey, no matter the job or activity.
- Philadelphia University Functional Skills Worksheet will help you identify your top transferable skills that you bring to the table no matter the job.
- Stanford University Values Worksheet will help you understand what motivates you. Use this worksheet to identify what is important to you in the world of work.
- Stanford University Work Environment Worksheet will help you identify your work environment preferences.
- What Are Career Values? June 10, 2015 by Alison Doyle is a useful tool for determining your top Career Values.
- TypeFocus is a leading developer of online personality type resources. For a fee, individuals can receive a personalized report to gain insights into your personality, interests, and values and how these impact career choices.
- Career Planner is yet another fee-based on-line resource to help assess careers, personality type, values, and skills.
- Testing Room offers similar tests as Career Planner, with some shorter tests offered free of charge.
- Don’t Let Weak Technology Skills Stop You from Getting a Job – A 6 Step Plan to Achieve Proficiency, September 2016, Sheila Murphy. Follow these steps for a new, tech-savvy you.
- lynda.com, now operated by LinkedIn, contains a library of about 5,000 inexpensive, on-line video tutorials to help you learn software, creative, and business skills. The first 10 days are free, and a monthly subscriptions (unlimited access) runs about $35/month. Looking to brush up on your computer skills? Here is a good place to start.
- YouTube Video Tutorials are free of charge, and there are hundreds of MS Office tutorials on YouTube for various levels of expertise. Don’t limit your YouTube learning to just MS Office. There are many tutorials on specialized technologies too. Start by choosing ones with the largest number of views.
- GCF LearnFree offers free, basic technology and other tutorials for those that are not tech savvy. including how to use a smart phone, web browsers, and social media. This is a good place to start for out-of-practice re-entry professionals.
- 40 Free Excel Tutorials and Reference Sites, May 2013, Brad Zomick. There are tons of free online resouces for learning MS Excel. This article attempts to summarize some of the best.
- Total Testing is a skills testing service that caters to small businesses and individuals. You can purchase an individual test for $20, and there are 800+ tests to choose from. Start with their Microsoft Office Skills Tests. They cover beginner, intermediate, and advanced level questions. Here is a Sample Score Report that contains extremely useful information to help you identify exactly what you need to learn to be considered basic, intermediate or advanced in MS Office. Use this service to assess your skills and identify your weaknesses.
- MS Office Skills Checklists can be extremely useful in helping to identify – and ultimately learn — the variety of tasks you will need to perform in the workplace using MS Office software. We found these on the internet while doing research for this blog. They do not appear to have been updated recently, but they are still quite useful.
- Free Online Social Marketing Training by Hootsuite Academy is a good place to start to make sure you understand social media for business.
- udemy.com is your place to learn real life skills on-line — both technical (SEO, HTML, Java) and non-technical (yoga, guitar). Some classes are free; others are not.
- mediabistro offers for a fee on-line classes on anything related to digital marketing and social media. Classes range from 1-12 sessions and cover topics such as SEO, email marketing, content marketing, blogging, copywriting, Google AdWords, etc.
- SKILLSHARE is heavy on the creative and offers the ability to enroll in any class and view 1.5 hours of video lessons per week, for free. Or upgrade for a small monthly fee to a premium membership.
- Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Courses are college-level and more academic in nature.
- 4 Ways to Ensure Your Work Skills Are Up-To-Date, March 2016, Kerry Hannon, Contributor, www.forbes.com. This article has some good tips on how to identify and gain the technology skills required by today’s employers.
- Many local public school systems and community colleges offer career, work readiness, and workforce development classes. Also, your local economic development authority may offer classes in basic office skills (MS Office Suite, Quickbooks) targeted to small business that individuals can also access. The Community Business Partnership in Fairfax, VA offers for a fee on-line training classes in accounting and finance (Quickbooks, MS Excel, etc.), computer applications (MS and Adobe), business and more.
- Resume Formatting and Editing Tips, FlexProfessionals, LLC. This is a useful one-page tickler to help you properly format and edit your resume.
- Profile Samples, FlexProfessionals, LLC. It is a good idea to start your resume with a profile or summary of what you bring to the table. Assume no one will read anything but this. Let the reader know what your top skills and personality traits are. Add an accomplishment to make it sizzle.
- List of the Best Skills for Resumes, January 2017, Alison Doyle. This is the most comprehensive list of skills, including soft skills, that we have found. Well organized and includes both hard and soft skills.
- Action-Verbs-for-Resumes, source unknown. Use the strongest action verbs possible to appropriately reflect what you have done. Here are some action verbs to get you going.
- Sample Resume 1 – Re-Entry, FlexProfessionals, LLC. This is a simple, succinct one page resume of a re-entry candidate.
- Resumes Samples, The Career Strategy Group. This DC metro career coaching firm with a solid reputation has several resume samples on its website. They may be a bit “sales-y”, but they are good models for many of our re-entry professionals who are not used to selling themselves.
- LinkedIn is the premier on-line resource for networking. Connect with former colleagues and current contacts. Find new connections. More and more recruiters use LinkedIn for passive recruiting. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? What does it say about your personal brand?
- Working Mom On-Ramp: How to LinkedIn Your Way to a New Job, May 5, 2016, by Judy Schramm for Working Mother. Judy is CEO of ProResource, a social media marketing firm that specializes in helping executives build their brand on LinkedIn.
- Mobile Apps Galore for Managing Business Cards, July 2014, Heather Clancy for Small Business Matters. A list of the latest mobile apps that make organizing business cards easier.
- 25 Ways to Make Networking Less Dreadful, October 2014, Unstuck. A great article with lots of practical networking strategies for you to try.
- Want a Job? Learn How to Work the Room!, March 2014, Mary Eileen Williams. Some useful tips for working a room at a networking event.
- Target Employers for an Effective Job Search, YouTube Video presented by www.clearedjobs.net. This video highlights the importance of being proactive in your job search and targeting the employers you want to work for.
- The Jimmy Falon Effect: 10 Qualities of Great Networkers, November 2014, Ariella Coombs, CAREEREALISM. A fun article with some good points about what makes someone successful at networking.
- Why Your Bio Is More Important Than Your Resume, undated, www.theundercoverrecruiter.com. Your bio – short, sweet, and easy to read – is a great networking tool. When you meet someone, follow up by sending your bio. This makes it easy for the person to send it to others who might be in a position to hire you.
- BranchOut connects business professionals. Users utilize their social network from Facebook to discover inside connections for jobs.
- Twitter might be used by your kids to learn about the latest party, but you can use it to follow bloggers, journalists, companies, and experts in the industry in which you want to work. You don’t even have to tweet!
- Glassdoor lets you see what real employees have to say about companies that you are targeting. Find salary and other information too.
- Video and Phone Interview Tips, FlexProfessionals LLC. Practical, easy to use tips for interviewing successfully via phone and video.
- How to Use a Phone with Confidence, by TollFreeForwarding, provides tips for boosting confidence and having a successful phone interview.
- How to Ace a Skype Interview, Viking Direct, contains a nice info graphic with tips for video interviewing, a format that is becoming more and more commonplace for first interviews.
- Sample Interview Questions, FlexProfessionals, LLC. After researching hundreds of interview questions, we compiled and organized some of the most common questions for your reference.
- The Most Important Interview Question of All Time, August 2014, Steven Tulman, LinkedIn Pulse. Learn why one simple questions can lead to many other probing questions that give the interviewer many insights into how you perform.
- The Second Most Important Interview Question, August 2014, Steven Tulman, LinkedIn Pulse. This question paves the way for a conversation that can help the interviewer understand what motivates you, how well you work with others, how difficult you are to manage, and more.
- The Best Interview Preparation Tool Ever, J.T. O’Donnell, Founder, CAREEREALISM. This is a well-done, two page “worksheet” to help you not only answer commonly asked interview questions but to ask good questions too.
- How to Respond to Difficult Questions/Concerns Raised in Interviews, FlexProfessionals, LLC. Refer to this handout for suggested language that will help you respond to common concerns specific to re-entry professionals that are often expressed by employers during an interview.
- Interview Checklist for FlexProfessionals Candidates Interviewing with Our Clients, November 2014, FlexProfessionals, LLC. A handy, one-page cheat sheet for job seekers who have been invited to interview with one of our business clients.
- How to Negotiate Salary: 37 Tips You Need to Know,, The Daily Muse Editor, www.themuse.com. If you are like many women and don’t think of negotiating salary, this is an important read.
- PayScale’s Salary Negotiation Guide, www.payscale.com, is an on-line guide comprised of over 40 articles. Articles are grouped into the following categories: research, strategize, and negotiate.
- In Job Search, Good References Are Key, February 2011, Laurent Belsie, Christian Science Monitor. Having good references — and making sure that they aren’t undermining you — is an overlooked but important step in the job search.
- The Future of Aging and Flexible Work, LPN-Q Journal, Summer 2016. In this issue of the Life Planning Network’s Quarterly Journal, FlexProfessionals Co-Founder Sheila Murphy writes about the current landscape of flexible work and how to best position oneself for competition across the ages. Article starts on page 22.
- What’s Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties, and Beyond, April 2014, by Kerry Hannon.
- Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy . . .and Pays the Bills, September 2012, by Kerry Hannon.
- What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life?, March 2010, by Bruce Frankel. Through intimate narratives, this book introduces unforgettable everyday people who embraced a new sense of possibility late in life with almost unimaginable success, passion, and purpose.
- Age Discrimination – How to Handle It in Your Job Search, September 26, 2014, Kathy Caprino, Contributor, Forbes.com. Kerry Hannon, AARP Jobs Expert, shares her take on age bias and highlights FlexProfessionals as an agency that has been successful placing seasoned workers into meaningful jobs.
- Second Act: After Leaving the Federal Cocoon, the Sky’s the Limit for Former Government Employees, June, 2014, David Tobenkin, naarf Magazine.
- Encore is an organization and movement dedicated to tapping the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities of the world.
- Kerry Hannon — jobs expert, author, journalist and speaker — always has wonderful advice for seasoned professionals looking to engage in the workforce.
- Boston College Center for Aging and Work promotes quality of employment as an imperative for the 21st century multi-generational workforce. The Center integrates evidence from research with insights from workplace experiences to inform innovative organizational decision-making.
WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY & WORK-LIFE BALANCE
- Work-Life Equation Podcasts by Bright Horizons. These are informative podcasts (about 20-25 minutes) about parenting, caregiving, and balancing work with everyday life. Whether you’re a working or stay-at-home parent, Bright Horizon’s parenting and education experts help you navigate the parenting journey with a series of “on-the go” podcasts that you can listen to at your convenience. Podcasts are also available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.
- 1 Million for Work Flexibility is a diverse coalition of companies, nonprofits, and business leaders who understand that work flexibility benefits us all. This website is full of resources designed to help promote the benefits of work flexibility in our lives, our businesses, and our communities.
- Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, March 2014, Brigid Schulte. Brigid offers both a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds and a blueprint for how to put the pieces back together.
- 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance, February 2010, Julie Cohen. This book provides a framework for examining how your current situation supports work-life balance. It provides tools, resources and concrete exercises to make personalized changes for greater satisfaction.
- Getting to 50/50: How Working Couples Can Have It All By Sharing It All, February 2009, Joanna Strober and Sharon Meers.
- Womenomics, June 2009, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay.
- Glass Ceilings and 100-Hour Couples: What the Opt-Out Phenomenon Can Teach Us about Work and Family, October 2009, Karin Moe and Diana Shandy.
- Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success, May 2007, Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Carolyn Buck Luce.
- Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families, February 2007, Leslie Morgan Steiner.
- Boston College Center for Work and Family links academic research and corporate best practices for creating workplace cultures that support the “dual agenda” of individual and organizational success.
- Work and Family Researchers Network is an international membership organization of work and family researchers whose mission is to promote understanding of work and family issues among global stakeholders.
- Families and Work Institute is a nonprofit dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community.
- Center for Talent Innovation has a two-fold misson: to drive ground-breaking research that leverages talent across the divides of gender, generation, geography and culture; and to create a community of senior executives united by an understanding that full utilization of the global talent pool is at the heart of competitive success.