Lots of the mums I often talk to plan to go back to work in September when their children start at pre-school or maybe move up to primary school or now feels like the right time to go back to work after a career break. Or take on a new role with more responsibility. And there’s no point job hunting in August.
However what I find is that come September, these very same mums get caught up in the back to school frenzy, and suddenly before they know it, it’s half term and they’ve not actually got started with their career plans. (And that’s why my Career Confidence workshop is after half term because I know that’s what happens. When I run the course in September, mums aren’t ready for it!).
Last year I published a series of posts covering the 12 essentials for career break mums who want to go back to work with confidence. I’ve talked to a couple of career break mums in the past week who want to join me in November but wanted some suggestions on what to do to get started now.
5 things you can do in your holiday to improve your career options (and take 5 minutes or less)
Given it’s the summer, I have come up with 5 things designed to take 5 minutes or less so that you can make the most of the time with your children in the school holidays.
1. Get clear on your core values
When I work with clients, one of the first things we spend time on is identifying your core values i.e. what is most important to you about life, family and work. We all have a different value system. When you are clear on your core values, you will find it easier to make the decisions that are right for you.
It will also help you to understand why perhaps some jobs or some employers are not right for you. It would really benefit you to spend just 5 minutes exploring your values.
To make it easy for you, I have a free download that you can access here.
2. Update your LinkedIn profile photo
If it’s been a while since you used LinkedIn, it’s time to dust off your LinkedIn profile. When recruiters and potential employers search LinkedIn for candidates, you make a much better first impression if you have a photo on your profile. The photo needs to suit the work environment i.e. not you on the beach or at the park.
Check this article here for more tips on what makes a good LinkedIn photo.
3. Reach out to former work colleagues
Now’s a good time to reach out to former work colleagues (via LinkedIn or Facebook or email) to let them know that you’re planning your return to work or you’re looking for new opportunities. This is not going to get you immediate results however it makes sense to start putting out job feelers now.
Not sure what to say to them? Here’s the wording I suggest to my clients – feel free to use that as a starting point.
“Hi it’s Sherry, hope you’re doing well. I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know that I’m planning my return to work in September. Do let me know if you hear of any suitable openings. Perhaps we could catch up over a coffee after the summer holidays.”
4. Write out your Hell Yes Hell No list
Take 5 minutes to write out your Hell Yes, Hell No list. My what? Get a clean sheet of paper – divide it into 3 columns. At the top of column 1, write ‘Hell Yes‘, column 2 ‘Hell No‘ and the 3rd column ‘Maybe‘.
Write down all the things you LOVE doing at work in the Hell Yes column. Is it working with Excel spreadsheets, talking to customers, problem-solving, being part of a team, fast pace … Think too about the environment – do you like to work in open plan? Do you love the hustle & bustle of a busy offices or do you prefer a calm atmosphere.
In the Hell No column, write down all the things you hate. Maybe it’s working with Excel spreadsheets, or talking to customers … we’re all different. What one person loves, another person hates.
Anything you’re not fussed about, goes in the Maybe column.
5. Share your plans to go back to work or change employer on social media
There’s nothing like public accountability to keep you on track with your plans on going back to work. Share the news with friends on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. This one really does take less than 5 minutes. You never know – maybe somebody you know knows somebody who’s got a suitable vacancy!
And if you’re in a job and you’re looking to leave, I absolutely I get that this one might need to be done on a one-to-one basis.
How did you like these 5 things you can do in your holiday to improve your career options? Which one will you do today?
p.s. If you find these tips useful, and you’d like some hands-on help, let’s talk. It might be that a simple conversation is all you need or maybe you’re want to invest in career or confidence coaching. Either way, let’s talk first. Click here to book a time that suits you.