Guest contributed by Amelia Knott.
With hiring practices that often tend to favor more youthful applicants, it can be tough for seasoned professionals to reenter or reconfigure their place in the workforce. And while this may be a numbers game —more jobs for the entry-level folks— the grind of applying to and being rejected from jobs can be highly demotivating. However you can take comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone in feeling this way, as thousands of people across the country struggle to shift their careers everyday. Here are some of the best ways they’ve found to stay motivated and surmount challenges:
Define your goals and strategy
Before you begin the job search process, figure out the logistics first. Consider what sources you will use to seek jobs, update your resume, and determine whom to use as a reference. You will also want to set a schedule for yourself, treating the job search itself as a part-time or full-time job. This means maintaining a regular sleep schedule and setting aside blocks of ‘work time.’ Set reasonable goals each week, such as sending out five resumes. Then address the larger goal of what your ideal job looks like, and aim close to it throughout the process.
Choose your jobs wisely
As a seasoned professional, you’ve probably gained a high degree of specialty in your particular field. This is an admirable quality, as it demonstrates expertise, grit, and oftentimes company loyalty. However because of this, the job pool will be somewhat smaller. Avoid applying for jobs in which you are clearly overqualified, jobs seeking entry-level or recent graduate status, or jobs that aren’t congruous with your resume (unless you intend to make a concentrated effort to switch fields and establish how, for example, your accountancy skills translate into fundraising skills). To find a good fit, check out specialized job boards that let you sift through listings by category and other criteria.
Network in your industry
Staying consistent with your networking functions can do wonders to advance your job search. It can also provide social support from others who understand what you’re going through and who may be able to offer advice or job leads. For maximum effectiveness, stick to networking within your industry by attending conferences or joining relevant groups on social media. If you want to go broad, consider networking at events for professional women.
Offer to volunteer
As a financial service professional, you’ll find lots of opportunities to volunteer your time and skills. Check in with your local non-profits to find out if there is any way you can help. You can also find a full list of registered charities through the government. Many smaller organizations don’t have a dedicated accounting staff, so your expertise may be a welcome relief. Plus, volunteering will fill in the employment gap on your resume.
Enjoy the time off
While this period of shifting jobs may be a bit stressful, try to make the most of the time off. Spend some time with your family, take a little vacation, or simply indulge in some ‘me time.’ The relaxation can help you de-stress and maintain a positive outlook.
Ultimately you have the power to make this job search a positive and productive one. It will likely take you some time to find a suitable job, and you may experience some rejection along the way. Don’t let that distract you from the fact that you are already an accomplished professional. Sometimes there are elements at play beyond your influence—often to do with the position receiving a large pool of applicants. Keep your focus on achieving personal and professional growth during the process, and trust that your goals will be realized.
Amelia Knott works at Aubiz.net – a free online ABN lookup tool. She is passionate about new marketing trends and branding strategies. She shares her insights through blogging.
Opinions and views of Guest contributors are not necessarily those of theglasshammer.com