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You were happily married, you got pregnant and the decision was made that you would stay at home and raise the children.  It may be 5, 10 or even fifteen years since you have been in the workforce.

Now you find that your marriage is coming to an end and you need to re-enter the workforce to earn a living.  And the thought is simply terrifying.

You may feel your skill set is outdated and that you have very little to offer an employer.  You may feel an overwhelming fear at the mere thought of putting together a resume.

You CAN re-enter the workforce, and job hunting is not as terrifying as you might think.  Let me give you some strategies to help move yourself forward.

Don’t discard the work you’ve done as a mother.  Most women I know who are stay at home moms are also very active in organizing school activities, or other volunteer type positions.  Just because you haven’t been paid does NOT mean you don’t have the experience.

An example is that I have worked with plenty of women who when discussing their talents think their ability to organize fund-raisers is not resume worthy.  These are skills that demonstrate management skills, leadership, organizational skills and shows you have a high level of energy.  These are skills worthy of putting on a resume.

How Do I Move Past My Fear?  This may be the question you are asking yourself.

I have a friend who is going through a divorce and hasn’t worked for over 15 years.  She will tell you she desperately needs a job and has been searching for a job for 7 months.  If you ask her how many resumes she has sent in the past 7 months, the answer is ZERO.  She is terrified of rejection.

They can’t tell you No if you don’t ask was my comment to her.   She was already making the decision she wasn’t qualified before she even got an envelope and stamp out of her desk. We discussed that it’s not her job to evaluate whether or not she is qualified; her job is to get the resume on the desk of the people responsible for making that decision and have THEM make that determination.  They can’t decide No if you can’t even get a resume on their desk.

I asked her if she has a resume together and her response is that she has four resumes all partially done.  What she needed was a deadline and accountability.  So we agreed that she would have one resume complete within 48 hours.  She was concerned it wouldn’t be perfect.  I love the word perfect...perfect means fear, perfect means I’ll ignore it, perfect means I’m not good enough.

So we discussed that resumes are not cast in stone; they are a living document that can be revised at any time.  The point is to get the resume out the door and get them out NOW.  We agreed she would send out a minimum of 10 resumes a week.   It was fine for her to make changes and tweaks to the resume, as long as she kept sending them out the door.

It is easy to fall into that place of fear when you think that you're competing with college graduates, or that seasoned professional who has been in the workforce their entire life.  What you don’t know is exactly what the employer is looking for in communication styles, and what will fit within their organization.

You will never know if you are the perfect candidate if you never get your resume on their desk.  The key to getting back into the workforce is action.

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