Monday, December 12, 2011

What Do I Do to Be "Employable?!"

Now that I have decided that a major career break is imminent, I've been seriously thinking about what it means to be "employable" and what do I specifically need to do to stay employable?

Since, I am planning to reemerge in the job market in several years, what do I need to be doing now that will help me to be competitive with the new college grads, the seasoned vets, and the people who never left?

First there is the obvious, while I'm taking time off, all of my competition is going to be polishing their skills and getting more experience and education. By just doing what they normally do day-to-day, they will be more employable than me, and so I am going to have to do the same. In my own way I am going to have to find ways to gain resume-building experience and/or education. I think this is going to be an interesting challenge because unlike other job seekers I am going to have to coordinate this around my family's schedule.

The second area that I need to focus on during the next few years is networking. I feel like this is the most common piece of advice that I have seen out there when it comes to job searching. Although I am not currently searching, I think it is important that I maintain the network I have and enhance it to make for an easy transition back to the job market. Additionally, one thing I've noticed these past six months, is that hanging out with my son does not count as "social." I seriously need to spend some time talking with other adults, and not just at SAHM groups, (because while I have truly enjoyed my mom groups, the conversation can become a repeated loop of eat, sleep, poop.)

I think these two areas will be a great jumping off point to create some employable action items. But I also think what I really need to do is hit the books. In googling around about "taking a career break," I found tons of information on job searching and career advice which I think I could make applicable from a long term perspective.

In the meantime, shoot me an email - I would love some feedback from you! In the next couple of days I'm going to start coming up with some action items, things that I want to try to do to build my resume and my network - any recommendations? I'd also love to get some good career-related recommended reading.