Successfully Re-Entering the Workforce

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Hey Taylor - I was laid off a few months ago and took the opportunity to travel and enjoy life for a bit. Now I’m ready to get back to work and want to find a job I enjoy. Any thoughts for a 32-year-old starting from scratch? - Tony

Hey Tony - I hope the time off was refreshing! Nice that you were able to step out of the workforce for a minute and enjoy yourself. As for what you do next, start by thinking about what you want generally, then see if you can narrow it down to a few select fields.

1. Where do you want to be? Whether it’s a new city or a specific part of the town you live in, where you go definitely affects how much you like your job. Maybe you could even take this opportunity to start working from home! If your last job had you sitting behind a desk and you got tired of that, perhaps you’ll enjoy something a little more physical that has you working outdoors. If you aren’t tied to your current location, there could be good jobs in an area where the cost of living is lower. Or, maybe you don’t care at all about where you work and just want to find a company you love. “Where” is a good first question to ask yourself, no matter what the answer is.

2. How much do you need to make? We all want big paychecks, but it’s so much more important to do something you enjoy. By making a budget and figuring out what you really need to make to get by each month, you could free yourself up to take an entry-level position at a company you really like instead of heading straight for a management job at a company you aren’t that fond of. Assuming you’ll have opportunities for advancement wherever you go, crunch the numbers and figure out if you can start small without hurting yourself financially. Sometimes taking a pay cut proves to be the first step in a long and fulfilling career.

3. What industries are on the rise? By giving yourself a blank slate, you have the opportunity to look at all the different job markets. If you were laid off from your previous job, maybe that’s because your old industry is struggling and it wouldn’t be wise to try and go back. Instead, read about emerging business models and see if anything piques your interest. I’ve got a post up at identifying 10 trending businesses that might give you some ideas for where to look.

My biggest piece of advice for your job hunt is to stay openminded. The best job in the world could be hiding in plain sight, so be open to everything and don’t sell yourself short. Good luck, Tony!