Employed by Life


By Teri Hockett

Employed by Life

Source: tasithoughts.files.wordpress.com

There is a lot of information out there about how to disguise a gap in your work history, as though it is something negative to be hidden from the hiring manager. It is time to change our thinking and really shine a light on the value that a person Employed by Life brings to the work force.

Gaps Happen

Gaps in work history happen for all kinds of reasons, whether forced or planned. Instead of fudging the dates to close the gap in time, use it as an opportunity to list skills that you have accumulated during this transition time, then highlight your accomplishments and skills gained. We firmly believe that every experience can be applied to the corporate world.

A person that has spent any amount of time without paid employment typically did not just sit around waiting for the next job to knock on their door. Whether or not their time off was voluntarily, they gained many valuable skills. Combine those skills with a renewed zest for rejoining the workforce and they quite possibly will become the most treasured employee.

Examples of Employed by Life Experiences

Family

Source: hsc.unt.edu

Raising children is the ultimate job – you making an impact on the next generation. It takes a 24/7 commitment, and all the training is on-the-job.  No two days are ever the same. Talk about being able to multitask under pressure!

Keeping the attention of a group of 3 year olds for any length of time is like herding ducks. This person must be engaging, the ultimate in multitasking, while giving a presentation and not losing those that are paying attention. They must be constantly on the lookout for those charges that are becoming disinterested or distractedly wandering off. We want that person’s intuitive abilities in my company. They can think on their feet, discern when a client’s interest flags or when that client is ripe for the close.

Caring for an aging or seriously ill family member requires another set of underrated skills. Researching the illness, the treatments, the care requirements, organizing medications, patient needs, and nutrition are just a few of the critical tasks. The compassion and commitment that it takes is something that you simply cannot teach a person, and is a beautiful thing when you encounter it. Typically this person is proactive, organized, and fiscally responsible, they tend to enjoy life, and above all they are tenacious (have you ever had to deal with insurance companies to get tests approved or medications covered?).

During your time off did you take on any special projects, manage a household, oversee a home remodel, or even plant a garden? All of these activities say something about you and help contribute to why you are ready to re-enter the workforce now.

 

3 Steps to Translate Employed by Life Experiences into Job Market Skills

Step 1. Be honest… don’t hide the reality.

There is a tendency to be vague or leave out the details of what really took place while you were away from the job market. Give this period of time-off a name, such as: family management, sabbatical, or leave of absence. The state of the economy during the last four years has resulted in historically high unemployment rates. Subsequently, employers are more understanding about gaps in employment, but they will never appreciate dishonesty or excuses. Employers are far more interested in what you did during the gap, not why the gap exists.

Step 2. Make a comprehensive list of all your accomplishments.

Take the time to carefully consider everything you did during your time away from paid employment. Discuss your ideas with a spouse or friend; they may identify skills or achievements that you may have otherwise overlooked. Chances are you will discover that you have been one very busy person!

Make a list of all that you have done, for example:

  • Cared for an ill family member or aging parent
  • Managed a home remodeling project
  • Raised your children and ran a household
  • Volunteered: scout leader, PTA position, charities

Step 3. List your skills, expertise, and abilities

Now create an all-inclusive list of all the skills, expertise, and abilities needed or acquired during each event list above, such as:

  • Organized information
  • Managed others
  • Oversaw a budget
  • Contracted with other companies
  • Negotiated with insurance providers

In summary, you have just identified valuable skills that can now be translated to the job market. By listing each activity, how it was performed and the value that it represents as job worthy skills.

I challenge you to be bold enough to list Employed by Life under “Work Experience” on your resume. It is time we embrace our valuable roles in life and acknowledge that they shape who we are today: capable, multidimensional, experienced individuals!

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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6 Steps to Embrace Change in the Workplace


By Teri Hockett

Are you one of those people that fear any change, whether it is new employees, new policies, or new ways of doing the same job? You feel comfortable in a familiar routine, and when that balance is threatened, you resist. Your attitude probably changes and not in a positive way. You may engage in negative conversations with family, peers, coworkers and management. You may even find ways to sabotage the success of the change.

All of these behaviors can dramatically affect your career growth and possibly the longevity of your career with a particular company.

First and foremost, realize that any company that makes the effort to make changes means that they are open to making things better. While the current change might not be the most effective or advantageous in your workplace, the next change might be the right one.

The key is to become part of the solution, and be open minded to the possibilities. This will result in an opportunity for you to show off your team skills, which might lead to career advancement. Opportunities present themselves when you become part of the solution and avoid impeding the flow.

Get in front or you may be left behind

Stop listing reasons why the change won’t work and avoid hanging with others that feel the same way. Look for people that embrace the change, ask questions about the big picture, and gather facts…not feelings. Remember that others could be feeling the stress of the change as well, so be ready with a friendly smile and a professional attitude – not everything has to change.

Start by asking questions. Is there is a transition plan for the change? If it’s a big change, there should be milestones. Is there a timeline for the implementation? Will the people who are directly affected receive support and any training necessary to the success of the transition? Will there be a significant event to indicate the end of the transition and the success of the change?

Be on the lookout for new opportunities; make suggestions that will enhance the success of the transition. Get noticed for your open and positive attitude.

6 Steps to Embrace Change in the Workplace

  1. Determine what exactly is changing and what is not
  2. Ask who is affected by the change
  3. Find out when the change starts, and what signifies the transition is complete and successful
  4. Be an early supporter, ask what can you do to assure the success of the change
  5. Be patient and flexible as management executes the change
  6. Volunteer to take the lead in helping to implement or champion the change

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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