How do I get started?

 

I get this question a lot from women who want to go back to work. Some of them are unsure of how to get started because they’re planning to return to a career that’s different from the one they left. Some just don’t know yet what kind of work they want to do. Others know, but need a big dose of encouragement before taking the first step.

 

If encouragement is what you need, you’re not alone. This is a big transition we’re talking about and you’re going to need a healthy dose of self-confidence to pull this off. But don’t worry, because you’ve got that. You may need to remind yourself occasionally, but you’ve got it and I believe in you. So, let’s get started.

 

To get started, we’re going to make a plan. And write it down.

 

I’ve already started this for you – it’s called the Back to Business Return to Work Checklist.

 

It’s long, I know. So let me give you just one thing to work on today: Think about what you want to do for work.

 

Think big. Don’t limit yourself to traditional occupations. The world is a big place and people make a living doing all kinds of things.

 

And after you think about each of these things, take the time to write them down. Do it. The difference between thinking about something and writing it down is often the difference between getting something done or not getting it done. Let’s get this done!

 

Here are some things to consider (and then write down):

 

  • What are the accomplishments that make you most proud when you look back on your life? Don’t limit yourself to accomplishments made while at work. I know you’ve accomplished a lot, so give yourself credit for everything you’ve done. This is no time to be modest. You’re awesome and we all know it. Now, what are your biggest accomplishments?
  • What skills and strengths do you possess that could be clues to finding work in a field that you will enjoy? Put another way –  where are your natural talents? Think seriously about what these are and let’s find a way to get you using these on a regular basis in a job you’ll love. Ask a friend if you need help answering this. Others often see things in us that we don’t recognize in ourselves.
  • Think about your motivation for returning to work.  Is it financial? Do you miss using your adult brain and interacting with people your own age? Do you have time on your hands now that your kids are getting older that you want to do something meaningful with? Understanding your motivation will help you determine if that job offer that comes your way is the right one for you.
  • And finally, let go of the idea that you have to be pursuing your passion.  Grab hold instead of the idea that you will find what you love, get good at it, and develop a passion through hard work and positive feedback. It can be paralyzing to think that you have to know what your passion is before you can get started looking for a job.  I think the passion part kicks in once you’ve found the right thing and realize that you’re really good at it  – not before you start looking.

 

So let’s get started….

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