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Re-entering the workforce

08 May 2012

Congratulations! You’ve decided to return to the workforce after having your family or a long absence from the rat race. 

The labour market may have a changed since you were climbing that corporate ladder but dust off those heels, we’re about to give you some simple tips. 

Make sure you have the most relevant and up to date skills for the industry you are targeting. What qualifications will put you at the starting line? Maybe there is a short course specific to that industry or a computer skills refresher?  

Looking for a job can be a pretty daunting task and a bit overwhelming if you’re starting over again. So why not give your confidence a boost and sign yourself on for some temp assignments? 

Temp work offers a multitude of benefits including flexible working arrangements. Some assignments can range from a couple of hours to a contracted period of time. You might even be covering someone else’s maternity leave!  The variety of working with different companies will get you “back on the horse” – so to speak.  You never know who you might meet or impress. Some companies view temps as a great way to find out who they’d like to hire permanently. 

Since you last worked another valuable workforce too has emerged: social media. Make sure that you have an updated profile on sites such as LinkedIn or through the Ruby Connection.  It’s amazing how people get jobs through people they know – your friends and acquaintances all form part of your network.  Another way to look at social media is to see it as your online resume. 

Another way to further your network is to attend networking functions that enable you to meet key contacts.   VECCI, Business Chicks, even your local council has luncheons or breakfasts for these type of events. More often than not, you’ll find recruiters go to these events too. Collect cards, make contact, “link in” with people and let them know you are looking for work. 

Having a mentor is also a great way to help navigate your career direction. Mentors can take many forms. It could be someone who you respect in the industry that you would like to enter. They should be someone who is happy to give you advice and help you make the right introductions. There are also companies that offer these services too, however, make sure that you research well.

Finally, make the effort to market yourself.  Develop a relationship with a good recruiter. Be persistent and confident that your skills are still useful – just waiting to be applied.  Corporate mindsets have shifted.  Parents who return to the workforce have a whole new range of skills to offer and enhance their previous background.  Good Luck!


Ineke Duncan works for Horner Recruitment. 

HORNER Recruitment, in operation since 1975, is one of Melbourne’s longest running privately owned permanent and temporary recruitment consultancies. 



  • Ann Margulis

    Ann Margulis 7 years ago

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