Securing your ideal job doesn’t happen overnight and involves a lot more than just applying for a job. Maybe you set yourself a goal to return to work this year or decided that you want to change jobs or set-up your own business. Maybe you’ve got yourself a plan together, applied for a couple of roles … and then low and behold, it’s the Summer holidays already!
So if you are changing your focus from Job Finder to Chief Entertainer for the school holidays, here are five practical things to do during the Summer school holidays to boost your return to work:
1. Use the change in routine to gain a different perspective
School holidays usually means a change to your family’s daily routine – maybe there isn’t a need to get up so early, perhaps you’re having a family holiday or visiting friends or relatives. Use the changes to your normal family week, to reflect on what type of role you are looking for and review what family life will be like once you’ve secured your ideal job. The change in perspective gives you an opportunity to check whether what you want can be made to work for you all as a family and, if not, make any necessary adjustments to your plans.
During the holidays you may have a chance to meet up with people that you’re not normally in contact with during term time. This gives you an opportunity to network. Let your contacts (and any new people that you meet along the way) know what you are looking for and how they can help you. Most jobs are filled by informal networks – someone who knows someone… and we are all so well connected. Even if you think an individual doesn’t know anyone in your chosen field, the chances are they might know someone who does.
It also helps to talk to people about what you are planning to do as this helps to grow your confidence and ability to talk about yourself in a job interview situation.
3. Child-care during school holiday
If you have been a stay at home parent, what plans will you need to put in place for looking after your children during future school holidays? It may be that your ideal job will be working term-time only and that you’ll be able to have time off at the same time as your children (although these roles might take longer to find and not be what you really want to do). If not, take this holiday time to plan what arrangements you will need to make to care for your children during their school breaks. Are there any local activity-based holiday clubs? Can you ask other family members or friends to get involved with childcare or find a childminder? Do you want to find a role with an option to work from home? Finding affordable and trustworthy childcare for school holidays can feel like an obstacle. Look at what other working parents do and ask around for suggestions that might work for you and your family.
4. An opportunity to get prepared and upskill
Given the change in family routines, find time to allocate to yourself each day to prepare yourself for the new role – just one hour per day focused on reading a book, watching videos doing on -line research about the profession and/or role you ideally want. What changes have been made? What are the latest buzz words and jargon? How has technology progressed and how can you gain new skills? All this investment will be well spent when you have your next interview, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate why you are the right person for the role.
5. Prepare your family for your impending change
If you are spending more time together during the school holidays, it could be an ideal time to talk to all members of the family about the changes you are planning to make so that everyone can start making adjustments and being prepared for when you do start your new job. For young children, it would be helpful to explain in a child-appropriate way about what is going to change and how it might impact on them. For older children and other adults it may be useful to talk about the changes and how they can help you make it a smooth transition, for example, getting everyone involved in doing more domestic chores to free up some of your time.
Don’t be surprised if everyone isn’t as enthusiastic as you are. As humans, we can be quite negative about any change, particularly if it is going to affect us. Give everyone time to adjust and clearly explain why it’s now time for you to make these changes.
If you need further help with boosting your job search to relaunch your career, check out ways in which Career-Mums can help you at www.career-mums.co.uk/returners. Relaunch your Career coaching gives very personal and practical support to find your ideal next role – don’t leave it to chance, take action today.