You’ve gotten through your treatment. You're finally in recovery. And it’s time to focus on finding a new job. But now everyone is talking about the tough economic times we are experiencing. What will this mean for you and your chances of finding a good job?
While some industries are laying off employees, there are just as many that are hiring new employees. Here are five guidelines to help you get yourself in shape so that you can confidently get out into the job market and uncover those openings that will interest you.
Know who you are and what matters to you
There is no doubt that your experience with cancer has caused you to be very introspective about yourself and your life. It’s so important that you are able to answer these questions about yourself.
- Who are you?
- What do you feel passionate about?
- What, if anything, was missing in previous work situations?
- How can I make a difference for an employer?
- Am I a specialist and an expert or more of a generalist?
- What are my core strengths? (Think of this as a combination of transferable skills, interests, values and personality traits.)
Learn something new
Identify a skill or an area of knowledge that would be relevant to your desired future work, then learn it. You might go back to school, take an online course, study on your own, read books and magazines, observe others, earn a certification. Taking one or more of these active steps will increase your confidence as well as your market value.
Keep up with technology
Learning about and understanding technology is not an option; it’s a necessity. You don’t need to know how to write HTML code, but you do need to know how to use LinkedIn, write a blog, and contribute to sites that support your personal brand and virtual resume. It’s also important to keep up with technological changes and developments in your chosen field, so that you remain a competitive and valuable employee or candidate.
Create a job-search plan that is flexible
Your plan should encompass several tracks or options, including self-employment or even working for a startup. Many people have begun by seeking to work for others and ended up creating their own entrepreneurial opportunities.
Be open to doing two or three different things to cover income, benefits — and personal satisfaction. Don’t think only in terms of traditional jobs, such as teacher, IT manager, social worker and accountant.
Create meaningful relationships
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable aspects of a job search: networking, introducing yourself, asking for help and advice, and follow-through.
Network broadly and deeply. Be relentless in your efforts to meet people of all kinds, and use every means of communication: face-to-face, voice mail, email, social media, postcards, shared articles and letters.
Always begin any communication by offering the other person something, such as an idea, a resource
or an introduction to someone else.