Think for a minute about a company that brought its brand back to market. What is the first thing they told us? “We’re back and better than ever!” They let us know what changed and how the new-and-improved version of the company will rock our world.
Reentering the workplace is the individual equivalent of resurrecting your brand. It can be a daunting feat to reintroduce yourself to the career world, but one you can definitely take on. But, before you begin shopping for that new work wardrobe, let’s make sure you’re well-equipped to take the plunge. Here are three keys to rocking your reentry into the workplace.
1. Learn a New Skill or Brush Up on an Existing One
In this day and age, when you can learn a new software program at midnight while sitting on the couch in your pajamas, there are no excuses! Log on to a site like Udemy, which offers 22,000 on-demand courses, to get a refresher on some basics, or try Lynda.com for a deeper dive into new technology, business, and creative skills.
Investing in your skills will not only improve your brand, it will boost your confidence and allow for a smoother reentry process. Who wouldn’t want that?
2. Exercise Your Existing Skills as a Volunteer
Now that you’ve mastered Excel and picked up some new skills, it’s time get out in the world, connect with other like-minded people, and lend a hand to one of the myriad organizations eager to have high-level volunteers like yourself.
The first step is to choose an organization with a mission that means something to you. Consider things like your kid’s school, local block association, place of worship, or favorite charity. Whether you’re pitching in to assist with an annual fundraising campaign, reviewing legal contracts, or drafting a press release, you’ll be exercising your skills and doing a good deed. It’s a win-win!
To browse available volunteer opportunities, head to Idealist where you can search for nonprofit placements by interest, skill set, and location. Alternatively, VolunteerMatch helps match your skill set with an appropriate assignment. Catchafire also matches professionals with nonprofits in need of help. You can donate your time to organizations and social enterprises that need everything from grant writing services to strategic planning, to developing infographics and creating websites. As an added bonus, the site allows you to see exactly how much money you saved any given organization by volunteering your services.
3. Start with Freelance Work
If you’re not quite ready to dive back into the 9-to-5 just yet, try getting your feet wet on a more flexible basis. There are plenty of resources you can utilize to do just that.
New York-based Prokanga is one such resource. According to the site, a “Prokanga” is a professional woman who works on a flexible basis, and is defined by her membership in a curated network of high-caliber experts. Prokangas can be based anywhere and include lawyers, to architects, bookkeepers, and more. There is currently a wait list to join Prokanga, but it can’t hurt to get in line!
If you’re set on easing into the workplace from the comfort of your own home, check out PowerToFly, a site that connects professionals with remote opportunities. Per the site, as long as your Wi-Fi is strong enough for video chats, you’ll be good to go. Jobs available through PowerToFly require anywhere from 20 to 40 hours per week, and it’s up to you to determine how much you want to work.
By dedicating the time to brush up on your skills, learn some new ones, and get hands-on experience through volunteering or project work, you’ll ensure your reentry into the workplace will be a smooth transition and your brand will be better than ever!
Jenny Powers is a member of the DailyWorth Interface program. Read more about the program here.