After a break-up or divorce, many people will hear this advice from their well-intentioned friends, “Get out of the house!” and “Go meet some people!”
As a career coach, I think this is also great advice for people who are job seekers. Recently, a former stay-at-home mother with whom I was working with received a job offer after 18 years of taking care of her family. Her first formal job offer came quickly – probably in the space of a few weeks after she made initial contact. How did she do it?
Her secret was to “get out of the house” and meet people. Following my advice to talk to ex-colleagues, friends, and acquaintances from the organizations at which she volunteered, she started setting up coffee and lunch appointments. She also worked on several short-term projects to build up recent references and grow her network of professional contacts. In short, she got out of the house as often as she could.
Here’s another way you can meet more people – be an independent consultant. If you have decades of experience in a particular industry or field, ask yourself, “Do I have valuable skills that others will pay for?” Although your past employer may no longer have the means (or will) to pay for your expertise, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t others who are willing to pay. For instance, ex-administrative assistants may find a receptive market as a virtual assistant. Although your pay may not be as stable as it used to be, you may find independent consulting work quite lucrative.