27 Apr 4 Reasons Why Now Is The Perfect Time to Re-Enter the Workforce
Have you been out of the workforce for a while? Re-entering the workforce can be challenging and overwhelming after an extended absence. You fall out of routines and create new ones; you might lack motivation, or you may even feel anxious or depressed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to consider getting back up on your horse and seeing what’s out there on the horizon. You don’t have to stay at home forever, and your ideal opportunity could be waiting for you right now. Whether you were laid off due to pandemic restrictions or you had to leave the workforce to care for children or loved ones, now is the perfect time to pick yourself up and re-enter the workforce.
Numerous Career Opportunities
When we think about the events of 2020 and 2021, it’s very easy to focus on the negative, given the fact that we have all been bombarded with bad news on a near–daily basis. And if you were laid off due to the pandemic or forced out of your job to handle home responsibilities, it can be challenging to find anything positive to focus on.
However, it’s important to remember that every crisis can and does lead to opportunities.
While many industries were decimated by the pandemic, many other industries thrived. Ecommerce, home fitness, delivery services, home and garden stores and services, and many more niches all saw significant increases in demand throughout the various stages of lockdown. Some businesses that were in danger of closing or suffering irreparable financial damage also pivoted into new products and services to meet the changing demands of a pandemic.
So while some industries like hospitality and travel suffered, many other businesses are actively hiring and looking for new people to help them continue to thrive in a post-Covid world, which is fortuitous because many Americans also used the pandemic downtime to revisit and re-evaluate their priorities, including their career priorities.
Lots of people suddenly stuck at home decided that their jobs just were not meaningful or were not providing adequate satisfaction any longer. Some people decided that their next job should provide them with a better work-life balance. And others decided that when things get back to normal, a complete career change would be in order.
Being laid off or forced out of the workforce is never easy. It’s rough on your self-esteem and can wreak havoc on your mental health. But no matter how bleak things feel, it’s time to view things through a different lens.
Setbacks like layoffs often lead to self-reflection, which can yield significant, positive changes in your career. Stepping back from your day-to-day and thinking about what you really want from your next opportunity can help you get a clear picture of where you want to work, what you want to do, and what you want to achieve. The fact is that a crisis can provide momentum for change.
Rather than feeling forced out of the workforce, look at the last year as an opportunity to truly re-evaluate what it is you want from your career – and then take steps to go get it with employers that are thriving and looking to grow.
2. Apply New Skills You’ve Learned Over the Past Year
Did you use the last year to learn a new skill? Did you choose to take classes or earn a certification rather than binge watch Netflix? Now is the time to put those skills front and center and start your job search.
But what if you didn’t learn to speak Spanish, master Excel, or learn how to code? That doesn’t mean that you didn’t hone some highly transferable skills over the course of the last year. Being forced into your home with a spouse, roommates, children, or adult parents likely taught you mastery over transferable soft skills like:
- Running your household on a tight budget
- Time management
- Motivating others
All of these skills are things that employers want in a new employee but often struggle to identify in candidates. They are also skills that employers know they can’t really teach someone. Strong job candidates need to come to the table with these soft skills honed and ready to go.
As you update your resume to re-enter the workforce, don’t just think about your work-specific skills. Instead, think about all aspects of your life. You absolutely used the last year to develop the soft skills that employers are looking for.
3. More Job Flexibility from Most Employers
The pandemic forced many Americans to think about the ways they balance work life and home life and whether those efforts have been successful or unsuccessful. As many workers went from in-office employees to remote employees or found themselves unemployed literally overnight, they were instantly faced with a new perspective on how much time they spend at work vs. how much time they spend with their family and loved ones.
Being forced to work from home or forced out of a job, caused many people to decide that when life returns to “normal,” they want more flexibility in their life. They want to be there for more family milestones, they want to be present when they are with their families and friends, and they want to be able to disconnect when it really matters.
The good news is that employers also learned some lessons from the overnight shift in the way they do business. They learned that not all work needs to be completed in the office between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. While there are some jobs that are certainly an exception, many jobs can be done around a flexible schedule.
Employers know that in order to attract top talent right now that they should offer some of that flexibility to their employees. If you look for a job today, you’re likely to find that employers are much more generous about flex time and schedule to allow employees to achieve the work-life balance they want and need.
Remember, hiring managers are people too, and they learned many of the same lessons you did while at home, so they are more empathetic to the work-life balance needs of their employees. If an employer doesn’t advertise more flexibility in a job post, don’t be afraid to ask about it or negotiate it into an offer. You may find employers are much more receptive to work-life balance than they were in 2019.
4. Expert Partner Who is Experienced by Your Side
Conducting a solo job search can be a long and protracted process, but if you’re attempting to re-enter the workforce after an extended absence, it can be even longer and more drawn out.
That’s where an expert recruiter can make all the difference.
Working with a professional recruiter can be a great way to find a great job where you will thrive. The key to making the process work is, to be honest, and upfront about where you’ve been in your career and where you want to go in the future. Armed with that understanding, a recruiter can match you with the right job and the right employer.
Recruiters also often have access to open jobs that may not be posted online to the general public. These hidden opportunities are things you’d never be able to uncover when searching on your own, which instantly opens you to new employment possibilities.
Furthermore, when re-entering the workforce, a recruiter can help you overcome potential employer objections to the gap in your resume. While many employers certainly understand being out of work during the pandemic, such gaps can still be a hurdle when it comes to landing a job. A recruiter can help you polish your resume and can provide constructive feedback on interviews so that you are always putting your best foot forward and improving your skills.
Additionally, recruiters are building their pipelines right now, making it a perfect time to re-enter the workforce. Recruiters know that a full recovery isn’t that far away, and they want to ensure that they have connections with exceptional talent at all levels of their careers, so they are ready to help fill openings as soon as they arise.
If you are thinking about re-entering the workforce or even changing your career, now is the time to get your resume cleaned up and into the hands of expert recruiters. The current employment landscape offers unique opportunities for those who want to make a career pivot. Focus on what you can control, like who you send your resume to, and make the most of those opportunities.
Find Your New Opportunity with LeadingEdge Personnel
If you are ready to re-enter the workforce and find an opportunity that aligns with your skills, priorities, and goals, contact LeadingEdge Personnel. We work with great companies across the country looking for candidates just like you, with the skills and experience you have. Apply online or Call us today to get started. We look forward to helping you achieve your career goals.