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Finding a Job After an Extended Time Off

bigg-challenge.jpgKathryn called us on the Bigg phone. Not the Bat phone … we don’t live in a cave!

She said that life on her own terms meant staying home with her two boys until they were both old enough to be in school all day. They’ve reached that point so she wants to return to the workforce. Besides that, she and her husband are looking forward to having some extra money available.

She says she has been checking classified ads and the job boards just about every day. Unfortunately, she’s not seeing many jobs that she’s both interested in and qualified for.

She’s applied for several jobs and had a couple of interviews which she doesn’t feel went so well. She thinks that the eight years she’s been out of the workforce may be hurting her chances. She asked us for our suggestions.

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It’s who you know

Keep in mind that we’re facing a tough job market right now, so you’re not alone in your frustration. One thing to add to your efforts is reaching out to your network. It’s something that a lot of people overlook or don’t place enough value on.

Start by making a list of everyone you know. Then start contacting them. You may start with an e-mail, but try to meet them in person or at least catch up with a phone call.

Be yourself, but make sure you tell them what you’re up to. Also find out what they’ve been doing. You never know … something they say may spark an opportunity for you.

Ideally, you’ll get a referral as a result of this conversation. However, don’t be disappointed if that doesn’t happen. You got to spend some time with a friend or got to know an acquaintance better. They can keep their eyes and ears open for an opportunity for you.

Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up

Be sure to follow up after your meeting or phone call. Let them know how much you enjoyed seeing them. Help with any challenges they may have brought up if you can. If you can help them, they’ll probably go out of their way to help you!

Keep in touch with them. If you see an article they may be interested in, share it with them. If you see a great deal on something you know they like, let them know about it.

The bottom line is: follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.

Interviewing

In her message, Kathryn said she’s had some difficult questions in her interviews. For example, one woman asked her if she thought she’d be able to get to work on time even with her two kids.

Of course, that’s an illegal question, which you have every right to point out, Kathryn. However, you’re probably better off emphasizing that you’ve always been punctual if that’s the case. For instance, we bet you were on time for the interview. Point that out!

The job you’ve been doing

You’ve been a full-time manager for the last eight years. You just haven’t been getting paid directly for it in cash. Don’t underestimate the skills you’ve learned.

Stress what you’ve done and what your strengths are. Bring the skills you’ve learned out in your answers. Have specific examples ready. These will depend on the job you’re seeking. Some examples:

Do you keep your family’s schedule or oversee the finances?

Have you coordinated a remodeling project?

Think about it. You’ll quickly see that you gained a lot of valuable experience.

Preparation

There’s a great way to prepare for interviews: role-playing. Simulate an interview by putting yourself in an environment as close to an actual interview as possible.

Get your husband to ask you questions or find a friend, preferably someone who interviews people as part of his or her job, and practice interviewing until your answers just roll off your tongue.

What suggestions do you have for Kathryn?

Please leave a comment below, call us at 888.455.BIGG or send us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks Kathryn for sharing your challenge with us. We wish you bigg success in your search efforts!

And we’re sure grateful that you checked in on us today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we talk about why you should play more at work.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00369-040909.mp3

Related posts

How to Get Noticed in Job Market 2.0

I Get Anxious Before an Interview. How Do I Relax?

BIGG Success Logo boxed

What’s Hot in 2009: Fun Trends

hot_2009 This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’ve been taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we wrap up the five-part series by looking at fun trends.

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Let’s start with fitness. Is that fun? One of the biggest trends is dance. Zumba, which combines South American rhythms with cardiovascular exercise, is expected to be one of the biggest crazes.

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marylynnI tried that once with some friends. I wasn’t very good at it. My instructor sure was – she could really shake it. I ended up going back to the treadmill.

___

The young and the restless

But dance isn’t just for fitness; dance halls are making a come back. People are looking for ways to feel good and have fun in these tough times. That applies to all of us, but this trend is particularly expected to capture the under forty and single crowd.

___

georgeSo young people will be going out, having fun, socializing, and dancing to upbeat and swinging music while us old folks are dancing at the fitness center to stay in shape!

___

Home, sweet home

And staying home more. Cocooning is expected to be all the rage again for those of us who aren’t going out dancing. When we’re home, we’ll enjoy more video-on-demand, not just from things we’ve recorded or TIVOed. We’ll sit down to a whole array of movies and shows that will be available as new technologies come online.

We’ll also be playing more video games. A lot of people have already invested in the biggest part of a good home entertainment system. Experts expect video games to do well.

___

georgeI’m amazed at the percentage of adults who now play video games on a regular basis. I’m further amazed to count myself in that group!

___

___

marylynn We like the Sony Wii, which is great for entertainment but also hit the list of hot trends in fitness with Wii Fit.

___

Plain Jane (and John)

We mentioned the do-it-yourself trend on a previous show this week. DIY fashion – from jewelry to clothes – is expected is be very popular, not only among hobbyists, but as a cottage industry. Sites like etsy make it easier than ever to sell your homemade goods.

There’s an old adage that stocks follow hemlines. As hemlines go up, stocks rise. Hemlines go down, you know what happens. So we wondered what would be hot in fashion in 2009.

The look is dowdy, a successor to the grunge look. Faded colors and plain styles will be in vogue. As if the economy isn’t dismal enough, now we have to dress that way! It seems to us like we should do the opposite – dress boldly. Maybe that would get our stocks excited!

Cruisin’

All inclusive vacations are expected to be hot again because we know what we’re going to spend before we go. That certainty is appealing right now. One beneficiary of this is expected to be cruise lines.

Never second best

Another travel trend is people visiting the “second city.” Rather than London, go to Birmingham. Instead of New York City, think Chicago. The Windy City is also expected to do well because it’s the hometown of our incoming President.

Park place

The most popular destinations this year will be national parks. Seventy-three percent of the respondents in a recent survey by TripAdvisor said they plan to visit one. Parks and other attractions close to home keep budgets in line because we don’t have the expense of flying.

And in case you’re wondering, people are planning to spend around $1,500 for domestic trips and about $4,000 when traveling abroad.

It’s important to have fun, in good times and bad. The good news is that, in these bad times, you can get some great deals. Plan ahead. Shop around. And save bigg money!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE

___

Thanks for joining us today. Check in next time when we’ll discuss the mattress stuffers of the 21st century. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00305-010909.mp3

Related posts

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

What’s Hot in 2009: Businesses

What’s Hot in 2009: Threats

What’s Hot in 2009: Questions

(Image in today's post by MISHA)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

What's Hot in 2009: Fun Trends

hot_2009 This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’ve been taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we wrap up the five-part series by looking at fun trends.

___

___

Let’s start with fitness. Is that fun? One of the biggest trends is dance. Zumba, which combines South American rhythms with cardiovascular exercise, is expected to be one of the biggest crazes.

___

___

marylynnI tried that once with some friends. I wasn’t very good at it. My instructor sure was – she could really shake it. I ended up going back to the treadmill.

___

The young and the restless

But dance isn’t just for fitness; dance halls are making a come back. People are looking for ways to feel good and have fun in these tough times. That applies to all of us, but this trend is particularly expected to capture the under forty and single crowd.

___

georgeSo young people will be going out, having fun, socializing, and dancing to upbeat and swinging music while us old folks are dancing at the fitness center to stay in shape!

___

Home, sweet home

And staying home more. Cocooning is expected to be all the rage again for those of us who aren’t going out dancing. When we’re home, we’ll enjoy more video-on-demand, not just from things we’ve recorded or TIVOed. We’ll sit down to a whole array of movies and shows that will be available as new technologies come online.

We’ll also be playing more video games. A lot of people have already invested in the biggest part of a good home entertainment system. Experts expect video games to do well.

___

georgeI’m amazed at the percentage of adults who now play video games on a regular basis. I’m further amazed to count myself in that group!

___

___

marylynn We like the Sony Wii, which is great for entertainment but also hit the list of hot trends in fitness with Wii Fit.

___

Plain Jane (and John)

We mentioned the do-it-yourself trend on a previous show this week. DIY fashion – from jewelry to clothes – is expected is be very popular, not only among hobbyists, but as a cottage industry. Sites like etsy make it easier than ever to sell your homemade goods.

There’s an old adage that stocks follow hemlines. As hemlines go up, stocks rise. Hemlines go down, you know what happens. So we wondered what would be hot in fashion in 2009.

The look is dowdy, a successor to the grunge look. Faded colors and plain styles will be in vogue. As if the economy isn’t dismal enough, now we have to dress that way! It seems to us like we should do the opposite – dress boldly. Maybe that would get our stocks excited!

Cruisin’

All inclusive vacations are expected to be hot again because we know what we’re going to spend before we go. That certainty is appealing right now. One beneficiary of this is expected to be cruise lines.

Never second best

Another travel trend is people visiting the “second city.” Rather than London, go to Birmingham. Instead of New York City, think Chicago. The Windy City is also expected to do well because it’s the hometown of our incoming President.

Park place

The most popular destinations this year will be national parks. Seventy-three percent of the respondents in a recent survey by TripAdvisor said they plan to visit one. Parks and other attractions close to home keep budgets in line because we don’t have the expense of flying.

And in case you’re wondering, people are planning to spend around $1,500 for domestic trips and about $4,000 when traveling abroad.

It’s important to have fun, in good times and bad. The good news is that, in these bad times, you can get some great deals. Plan ahead. Shop around. And save bigg money!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
subscribe to the Bigg
Success Weekly
– it’s FREE

___

Thanks for joining us today. Check in next time when we’ll discuss the mattress stuffers of the 21st century. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00305-010909.mp3

Related posts

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

What’s Hot in 2009: Businesses

What’s Hot in 2009: Threats

What’s Hot in 2009: Questions

(Image in today's post by MISHA)