When the idea of figuring out the next step in your career feels too overwhelming, it can make you shut down before you even get started. But if you can break your goal down into small, quick and easy-to- implement action steps, it will suddenly seem more simple and achievable.
The women I work with have made progress towards their career change in just 15 minutes a day..
We all have 15 minutes a day - no matter how many balls we might be juggling right now - where we can take a moment to do something to get us closer to where we want to be. It’s these small and consistent actions taken on a daily basis that win the race.
So what can you do in 15 minutes a day to find the right career for you?
Here are some ideas:
1. Give your professional confidence a boost by making a list of your achievements before and during your career break, and reading this article with my top tips on how to make an ‘empowered’ return to work.
2. Think carefully about what’s important to you when it comes to your work. What are you motivated by? Do you want to be a good role model for your children; do you want the status of a high-powered job; do you want or need to earn your own money?
3. Get clear on what your ‘ideal job’ looks like. Write up a wish list of what you want, what you don’t want, and why.
4. Create a list of companies you’d most like to work for. Next, research one company on your list. Review their website. Set up a Google alert so you’ll know whenever they are in the news. Follow them on social media. Look up key personnel on LinkedIn. Ask your current contacts (friends, family, colleagues, other job seekers, etc.) if they know anyone working at your target company.
5. Reach out to someone who has a job or business you would really love to do. Give them a call or take them for a coffee, and find out as much as you can about what they do every day.
6. Brainstorm what your transferable skills are. What are you naturally good at that you could use in a different industry that you’re passionate about?
7. Sign up for an online course in an area you are considering. Start by taking a look at these three course directories: FutureLearn, edX and Coursera.
8. Google yourself and consider what your online presence looks like to a potential employer. What does it say about you? Will employers like what they see?
9. Ask a friend to take a look at your CV and give you their brutally honest feedback. Does it truly characterise your abilities and your potential for contributing to your the next employer’s success? For expert help to market and sell yourself with confidence, check out my range of 'Get Hired!' programmes.
10. Turn on the Open Candidates feature on LinkedIn that privately lets recruiters know that you’re open to new job opportunities. You can specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in and be easily found by the hundreds of thousands of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find great professional talent. If your LinkedIn profile could do with a refresh or complete make-over, check out my guide called 'LinkedIn 101: How To Create Your LinkedIn Profile'. You can find it here in the WHM Resource Hub.
11. Get inspired by settling down on the sofa with one (or more!) of my top 10 reads for return-to-work mums.
12. Sign up for Ignite!, my free 7-day email series designed to help you figure out what’s next in your career, and how to make your new vision a reality.
13. And finally, visualise the end goal. Know that it IS possible for you to find meaningful and fulfilling work that fits around the family. Plenty of other mums have done it, and there’s no reason why you can’t too!
Melanie Fieseler is a Career Consultant and Director at Work Happy Mums, the go-to resource for return-to-work professional women and career advancers. We're building a better future for working mothers and the organisations they work for. Join our community and help both our families and businesses thrive.
Here on the blog we offer insights and tips that will empower you to create a career and life that works for you wherever you are in your parenting journey.