WorkWise Q&A: What's the best way to re-enter job market?

06/06/2010 12:00 AM

06/05/2010 10:17 AM

Q: For 20 years I was a health care financial manager, but I spent eight years on a mommy track while assisting aging parents, then handling their estate. I've done some coaching with neurolinguistics and energy psychology on the side, but now that I can devote full time to it, the economy has tanked. I’ve found it very hard to get clients.

I'm having trouble selling my coaching as recent experience that employers can relate to. Is there something else I can do to get more recent experience on my resume? Out of Ideas

A: Dear Ideas, When I asked you to clarify your motive, you responded, “Actually, I want to work for a paycheck and keep my business going on the side.” A long-term affiliation isn’t the object. Employers will sense that about you.

You’re a natural for working through a temporary agency. Find one that will allow you to do interim work that will head you in the direction you want to go. Get that on your resume. Meanwhile, remembering that all work is good, paid or not, find some volunteer work that will use the skills you want to use. Present your eldercare and estate work from a coach’s perspective. mlc

Q: I have taught high school physics in the Bay Area for five years and am now scraping on a meager salary as a physics teacher with an online high school. My other jobs have been as a temp, a front desk clerk at a hotel and an underwriter.

I've been hunting for at least six months, usually on Craigslist and, for a full-time high school physics position. That takes about 10 minutes a day. If I see a position, I spend about an hour applying. Researching the school and tweaking the cover letter to fit the position best take the most time. My biggest problem is that there is a paucity of positions available. Organized

A: Dear Organized, Your method is excellent, but your system is too small. Every other person looking for a full-time physics slot is looking exactly where you are. Recreate your job search so you stand out on more than a piece of paper or monitor.

If those two sources didn’t exist, what would you do? How about getting to know some people in particular schools or the ones at the gateway, those who forward applications to people in schools? mlc

Dr. Mildred L. Culp welcomes your questions at Copyright 2010 Passage Media.

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