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How Women Can Successfully Enter or Re-enter the Workforce

How Women Can Successfully Enter or Re-enter the Workforce
Entering or re-entering the workforce can be a challenge.

If you’ve been in the corporate world for 10 years or more, you might be very close-minded when looking at your skills and talents. You may only have one way of looking at your career. Today’s world is more project-based. Millennials look at what they want to contribute to a company and what experiences they’d like to have, whereas baby boomers typically committed to one lifelong career.

Tips for Success
There are now more career options. Examining your entire work portfolio and accomplishments is very empowering. It’s a great way to build your confidence. Take the time to articulate the stories of the things you’ve done really well. Be honest about the work you love most.

Create a list of people you know, like and trust who you’ve worked with. It can be three to five people. Let them know you’re thinking about project-based work and you have something that can contribute to their workplace. They may never have considered hiring someone with your specific skill set.

Entering the workforce now involves more focus on internships right out of college. College administration often partners with local businesses on creating internships. These sometimes result in employment.

Re-entering the workforce is harder for some people than just entering the workforce for the first time. Many women who have taken off for caregiving feel guilty for not working consistently. A lot of employers are enthusiastic about hiring women who are returning to work because they are eager, grateful and dedicated.

Also, keep in mind that re-entering the workforce is like riding a bike. You can just get back on it. Your reputation and previous work strengths stay with you forever. You can be successful again.

The Interview Process
Non-verbal cues come across to interviewers. Confidence is huge. Talking about facts and figures in relation to your accomplishments passionately shows the interviewers you are ready to take on the work.

Prepare for your interview by working on your story. Updating your LinkedIn account helps with sorting out your story. What are you the go-to person for? What do you love doing? What is effortless for you? What would you do if you didn’t get paid to do it? Think about your skills and give the evidence that proves you have these skills.

You will likely get generic questions about yourself and your work history in the interview. The goal of these questions is to find out if you’re going to help the company succeed or if you’re going to be a pain and require managing.

Make it about the client. Have three words you want the client to think about you. Create three short stories about how you’ve done the work to become each of those three words. Talk about problem solving for that position based on your homework and understanding of the business. Treat it like a working session instead of an interview. Connect your value to the value the company needs.

The Value of Values
For those entering the workplace, think about your values. Find companies that match your values. For those re-entering the workplace, examine what past work made you feel really successful. Seek out work that provides that same kind of satisfaction.

Listen in as Lisa Hufford shares her best tips for entering or re-entering the workforce.


Smarty Pants Vitamins
Featured Speaker:
Lisa Hufford, Founder of Simplicity Consulting
Lisa HuffordLisa Hufford founded Simplicity Consulting in 2006 as a result of her own shift from the corporate world to the world of consulting. Simplicity Consulting is a specialized talent solutions company with expertise in marketing that delivers results for companies including Microsoft, Amazon, T-Mobile and more.  

In 2011, Inc. magazine named Lisa one of the top 10 female entrepreneurs and has named Simplicity Consulting one of America’s fastest-growing private companies five years in a row.

Lisa has also been chosen as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Woman and just launched her newest book, Navigating the Talent Shift.

Prior to founding Simplicity Consulting, Lisa managed strategic high-value clients such as IBM, Apple, Gateway, Acer America and Sun Microsystems for Microsoft, RR Donnelley and Modus Media. She earned a Business B.S. from California Polytechnic State University, SLO and a Technology MBA certificate from the University of Washington.

She’s an advisory board member for the UW Bothell COB, Cal Poly COB and is a member of Young President’s Organization (YPO), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Committee of 200 and a Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Founding Member.