Re-entering the workforce after a long absence can be both challenging and exciting. There are challenges because of significant changes in your industry or workplace to which you’re not accustomed; the learning curve can be intimidating. Coming back to the workplace after long period away can be exciting for the same reasons – the changes and improvements that occur over 10 years can strengthen working relationships, improve efficiency and make work more enjoyable.
Assess your current job skills and compare them to sought-after skills in the job market. Look for opportunities to fill in gaps by enrolling in classes, seminars and workshops that focus on technology and ways to use new technology. Search online tutorials for software applications, such as Microsoft online tutorials that acquaint users with recent updates.
Read professional journal, magazines and newsletters in your industry or field. Study emerging and recent industry trends. Review government websites and newspapers for legislative changes that affect your field. For example, if you’re in the health care industry, learning more about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can enlighten you on employers’ obligations concerning employee benefits and group health plans.
Observe demographic changes in your industry. The overall workforce is currently made up of four distinction generations – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y – these types of multigenerational changes are what inspires diversity in work styles, an important factor in understanding the workforce and its uniqueness.
Attend job fairs and job readiness workshops to learn more about what employers expect. Chat with seasoned recruiters at job fairs about changes they’ve noticed during a 10-year span in the recruitment and selection process. Pick up brochures and pamphlets about job search trends; start a file to keep your notes and materials pertaining to workforce changes.
Draft a list of questions to ask colleagues and professionals in your field. Include questions about work habits, dress codes, flexible work schedules and business protocol. Look at slight changes as well as significant changes. Modify your approach to entering a new job -- look at re-employment after a long stretch from a fresh perspective, such as business casual dress, technology-driven work solutions, and a results-oriented approach to work so that you're able to achieve a work-life balance in your new career.
Access online job boards, social networking sites and career guidance websites. Read job postings for insight into how employers use multimedia in the recruitment and selection process. Explore online resumes such as resumes in website and video formats. Job seekers can provide recruiters with a link to their sites for a more personal and interactive way of applying for a job.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition, she is a certified facilitator for the Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks 360 Assessment Suite, and is a Logical Operations Modern Classroom Certified Trainer . Ruth resides in North Carolina and works from her office in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.