Preparing to Enter the Work-Force While You're Out

by Kirsten Ross, http://www.womans-work.com 

Many individuals leave the workforce for a period of time for one reason or another. It is always scary, especially if you have an established career. There are, however, steps that you can take while you are out to prepare for re-entry. And many of the items can be fun, rewarding and can keep you intellectually stimulated. I am not suggesting that you do ALL of the things on the list. Just pick one or two – do what you can. Whatever has taken you out of the labor market is probably already keeping you very busy!

Continue memberships in one or more professional organizations

Stay up on any reading that you receive through these organizations. If you only have time to skim the articles or headlines don’t worry! At least you will have a general sense of what the hot topics are and will get a feel for general new trends.

If you can, attend some of the lunches or other events sponsored by the professional organizations to maintain a network. You can also add some of these activities to a resume to fill in holes.

If you have time, do some freelance work. There are many websites out there now that make it very easy to find projects in your field – and most can be done at home.
Check the listing of sites at http://www.womans-work.com/freelance_jobs.htm 

Attend some workshops or seminars.

Keep any licensure or certifications current – it is usually easier to maintain them than it is re-certify.

Do some volunteer work.

Surf the net. Find some sites geared toward your profession. Join the site and/or sign up for any newsletters. Take advantage of the content and peruse any discussion boards.

Stay up on current technology.

Have lunch with former co-workers or colleagues on occasion or just drop them a quick e-mail to say hi. It will be helpful to have established contacts when you decide to return.

Start a website. Provide expert advice from your field. Write good content for your pages and start a newsletter.

Write articles for e-zines. There are thousands to choose from! Send an e-mail with your article idea. Most e-zine publishers are very happy to find good content.

Keep your resume up to date. If you attend a seminar or do some volunteer work add it!

About the author:
Kirsten Ross is the mother of 2-year-old Eric and 4-month-old Daniel. She is a certified Senior Human Resource Professional who works from home to help others do the same at http://www.womans-work.com