If you’re one of the many working professionals who were made redundant as a result of the global financial crisis and consequent recession you may still be unemployed due to the unsteady nature of the recovery. Or it could be that you have a new job in a different sector but you want to make the transition back to the certain industry. Instead of waiting for the economic climate to improve before you make your move, there are several things you can do to get back into the game as soon as possible.
Do your research. If you’re out of touch with what’s going on in the sector, get back up to speed by finding out what’s been happening, both in the market as a whole and in individual institutions. Watch the news and read a variety of newspapers online. Look at industry magazines and go to the library to read relevant, recently-published books. Go the extra mile in order to gain insight that others don’t have or may have overlooked. Get inside of the head’s of the people running the organisation you are looking to get into. Find out about your interviewer and the main priorities of the company you are applying for. Know as much as you can about your area of focus.
Use your network. Chances are you’re still in touch with some people from your previous workplace. If they’re still in the industry, they may be able to offer you inside advice on whose hiring, or perhaps looking to expand. They may also be able to introduce you to key players who could help you along. Use LinkedIn, reach out and build your connections and relationships in the industry. Find ways to be useful to others and they will also be helpful to you. Think about what it is that you want from your network and what you want from specific people in it. Ask targeted and focused questions so that people can think about something specific to help you with.
Re-brand yourself. To get back in the game, you need to be clear on what you can bring to the table. As you’ve been away from the industry, employers will want to know why you believe you can still add value to them. Give examples in your application and in interviews of how what you’ve been doing since redundancy equips you for a return to the sector. If you’ve been doing nothing, start volunteering your skills to enhance your resume. For instance, you could do some pro bono work for a local charity. Think of yourself as an asset and create a compelling story for employers to hire you.
The bottom line is that you have to create your own opportunities. The key to getting back in the game is to be proactive instead of passively waiting for the game to come to you. Take action now instead of hiding away until the tide changes.
About the Author:
Nisa Chitakasem, co-founder of career consulting company Position Ignition which specialises in helping people get back to work, career change and executive career choices. She is also the co-author of their Networking Career Tips eBook.