It’s never easy to reenter the workforce after you’ve been out of it for some time. Whether you took time off to raise a family, volunteer, take a gap year, study abroad, or care for a sick relative, you’re coming back to a tough economy and a world that’s different than it was two years ago. If you feel like everything has moved on without you while you’ve been standing still, no one can blame you.
But rest assured: if you’re ready to reenter the workforce, it’s a good time, strange as it may seem.
The truth is that it’s a job seeker’s market right now. There are opportunities out there that didn’t exist a few years ago, or even one year ago. And the workforce landscape might look a little different than it used to, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it means that right now is the perfect time to start a new job if you’re ready to reenter the workforce.
It’s a Job Seeker’s Market: Employers Need Employees Now
There’s a lot of debate about what factors are causing the employment gap that we’re seeing right now. Almost everyone can agree that the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in millions of layoffs in the United States alone, is the root of the problem. But whether it’s the shift to work-from-home, government assistance allowing people to remain out of work for longer periods, or other factors entirely, one thing remains true: it’s a job seeker’s market right now.
What does that mean for you? Employers are struggling more than ever to find and hire qualified employees to staff their businesses. In fact, they’re pulling out all the stops to land people like you—from sign-on bonuses and relocation help to perks like hybrid work schedules and great benefits including paid childcare and family leave, it’s a good time to be an asset to an employer.
Consider Temporary Jobs and Temp-to-Hire Jobs
As mentioned above, remote work and hybrid schedules are more common than ever. It’s safe to say that this kind of work will become the norm in many professions moving forward. And while that’s a great convenience for those who don’t want to commute to the office every day, it also presents great opportunities for those wishing to reenter the workforce.
Temporary jobs and contract jobs have become more common, too, right alongside remote work. And temp jobs and contract work are great ways to help yourself reenter the workforce if you’re not ready to jump right into a full-time role. Here’s why:
· They help you gain experience. The more contract jobs you do, the broader your experience in your field becomes. It’s a great way to get more experience in your craft or industry.
· They help you build your skills. The specific skills you need to do your job well every day can only be sharpened by, well… doing them. Taking temp jobs in order to sharpen your skillset is a great idea for those looking to reenter the workforce after some time away.
· They help you build your resume. All of that experience and skill-building means your resume will look even better when you’re ready to apply for full-time work. Many employers appreciate seeing a variety of special projects and temporary gigs, because they know it builds your breadth of experience.
· They acclimate you to different environments and teams. Working several contracts or temp jobs helps to get you acclimated to a variety of work cultures, team settings, and work environments. That’s a good thing for your experience and industry know-how.
· They help you get your foot in the door. Keep in mind that many employers will offer you full-time work after you’ve worked a temporary job or a contract gig. This type of position is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door at a company you’re passionate about.
There Are More Opportunities Than Ever for Remote Work for Office Jobs
We’ve learned over the past two years or so that more jobs than we previously thought can be performed successfully from home. This is especially true for office jobs. There’s simply no need for employees to sit in their cubicles all day when they could do the same thing at home and achieve the same results.
What’s more, the idea that work-from-home employees will be less productive has been proven to be a myth. Employees are actually more productive when working remotely, evidence shows. And employers can directly reap the benefits of employing remote workers like you.
Employers Are Following Through with Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts are more common than ever among companies of all shapes and sizes, and that’s a good thing. Diverse, inclusive workplaces foster creativity, productivity, empathy, and innovation.
If you’re re-entering the workforce right now, expect to see more DEI efforts out of employers. They’re following through with these initiatives to the benefit of their companies, their employees, and their bottom line.
Tips For Reentering the Workforce
We’ve learned why now is a good time to reenter the workforce: it’s a job seeker’s market; temporary jobs, contract work, and remote positions are more available than ever before; and the workforce is more diverse and inclusive than it ever has been. But what about actually doing it? How do you go about reentering the workforce successfully?
Here are some tips for reentering the workforce:
1. Create a job search strategy.
Being strategic about your job search is a much better idea than simply polishing up your resume and starting to apply. First, think about what you want: a full-time job, a temporary job, or something in between? To pick up where you left off when you left the workforce, or to start something new entirely? Research desirable roles to get an idea of the required skills, education level, compensation, and other details, and go from there.
2. Use your network.
Even if you’ve been out of the workforce for a time, you still have a network of people. Former coworkers, supervisors, recruiters, acquaintances, even friends… these individuals can not only help you to find a job, but put you in touch with people who might have opportunities for you that you haven’t thought of. And thanks to sites like LinkedIn, you can reach out to people in your field that you don’t know personally but would like to chat with. It’s often those connections that help you snag a job you’re really looking for.
3. Think about how to address your employment gap.
While most employers won’t harp on an employment gap on your resume, especially since the pandemic put a lot of people out of work, it’s still best to have a game plan for addressing it. The best course of action is to simply be honest—if you were laid off, be upfront about it. Or, if you took time away to care for a family member or to travel, share what you’ve learned from those experiences.
4. Brush up on your interview skills.
Acing an interview is always a step in the right direction. If you’ve been out of the game for a while, it’s a good idea to practice your interview skills so you’re ready for the real thing. Think about some common questions that you’ll probably be asked and practice your answers. Pay attention to your body language and make sure it’s confident and welcoming; practice in front of a mirror if necessary.
5. Be flexible.
Be realistic about the fact that you might need to make a compromise here or there when you’re reentering the workforce. You can’t expect to jump right into your dream job right away. Being open to contract jobs or project-based work, for example, is a good place to start. Stick with it and work hard, though, and you’ll be able to achieve whatever you set your mind to.
Work With a Staffing Agency Recruiter to Reenter the Workforce
Have you considered working with a professional staffing agency in order to reenter the workforce? This way, you’ll have access to a recruiter who can work with you personally to understand your goals, help you with interview skills and polishing your resume, and find you a job that suits your needs. And temp agencies can even help you find contract or temporary work if you’re interested.
Work With a Leading Staffing Agency to Reenter the Workforce
Looking for a temporary, temp-to-hire, or full-time role now that you’re reentering the workforce? Struggling to land interviews? Turn to the professionals at CTR Group. Our expert recruiters can help match you with top employers in your area and make your return to the workforce as stress-free as possible. Contact CTR Group today to learn more about us and get started on your job hunt.