How to land the job you want after years out of the workforce.
Women who have taken a “hiatus” while raising children or who wish to move faster in their careers usually have the same blind spot: they need more confidence! Confidence is the most important characteristic of anyone who wishes to achieve a large goal.
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a few years or have temporarily “stalled” in your career ambitions, you must convey confidence, competence and charisma to telegraph your unmistakable self-assurance. But how to do it?
- First impressions count and they’re impossible to erase: Wear professional clothing, have a sleek hairstyle and memorable accessories. Not just at the interview – ALWAYS.
- Manners matter: Handwritten thank-you notes are non-negotiable. You need to write them.
- E-mail can brand you as a super-performer: Your subject line needs to be interesting, yet relevant.
- Voicemail messages should be short and to the point: Give them your name, phone number and a brief reason why you called. Then repeat your phone number. Then hang up.
- Out-behave your competition: Be professional. Be polite. Apologize when you’ve made a faux pas.
- Banish “whatever”: Everything matters. Yoga pants to anything other than yoga class? What if you meet your future employer while you’re out? See the first rule on the list.
- Don’t mumble: You have something to say. Don’t hide it.
- Know something: Read the paper – always have a conversation-starter in your pocket.
- Eschew shortcuts: They’re for the lazy. Don’t assume everyone at a meeting knows each other – make introductions and render yourself impossible to forget!
Remember, no one climbs Mt. Everest in one day. You move from base camp to base camp till you’re at the summit.
That’s a perfect metaphor for making the great leap back to work or setting a goal for a more challenging position: Don’t underestimate how “tiny steps” can move you forward; look forward to the climb since it’s an opportunity to showcase your remarkable talents and ask people for support so that the climb is filled with the cheers and laughter of those who love you.
Ellen Lubin-Sherman got her start in business feeding gossip items to Liz Smith, the esteemed former gossip columnist at the New York Daily News. Those early days of name-dropping were the perfect foundation for her later work in cultivating and branding identities for some of the country’s most luxurious products. Ellen went to work for some of NYC’s top communications firms, advising top tier brands including The Gap, Perrier Water, and Martha Stewart. Today she uses that expertise to coach corporations and business leaders in the art of creating a polished presentation. She does this through LAUNCH, her coaching and consulting firm for business leaders and corporations who need to craft the visuals and the messages that will burnish their reputation as leaders and differentiate them in the marketplace. Today, in addition to executive coaching and consulting, Ellen is a sought-after speaker for companies and groups that are desperate to know how they can become fabulous.