You’d think that in our society there would be allowances for people who chose to take off some time for one reason or another. You’d think that when they were hunting for a job that people would understand some of the personal issues that people have to deal with which interrupts their career flow. Things like having a baby, staying home with children, dealing with a sick parent, taking time off after the sale of a house that provides a nest egg or divorce are a few that I’ve heard lately. Yet, the people who are trying to get their career back on track after taking a break, tell a different story.

One lady that I coached lately is dealing with a former family business for the past 20 years. She raised her kids and worked full time with her husband. Her whole life was wrapped up in her family business. Later, after her husband cruelty left her and spread rumors about her, she was unemployable. This was even after she’d updated class work within her industry. All of her former customers were still with her ex husband so even references were impossible to obtain. She felt completely at a loss of where to start.

Another client, who sold his biz and made millions during the process still has the desire to be employed. He took off some time and doesn’t have the need to make money, but he was much too young to sit around and watch the stock market every day. He wanted to get back in the market to start working again. He was best in a structured 9-5 environment and didn’t want to build another business from scratch. But speaking with potential employers was nearly impossible once they found out he wasn’t “hungry” to work anymore. They perceived he didn’t NEED the money so he wouldn’t work as hard.

I asked a friend recently who owns an extremely successful real estate firm if she’d consider selling her business. She practically shouted NO WAY, and asked “what would I do all day?” I have seen that happen time and time again to successful people too.. that they’re bored to death after the sale of their business. What do they do? They end up harassing the lecture agents to book them more speeches! They WANT to work!

So what can a person do if they find themselves in one of these positions? It doesn’t matter if they end up unemployed because “life happened” or because of a windfall of money. They are still “unemployable” to the hiring manager.

Here are a few things that these clients have done.
Take a job at a temp agency. Even though you’ve run a company before, go in and take the typing test and the computer test to evaluate where you are. This is a great place to get started. You can meet several temp agencies to get your name out there for a job. Once you get introduced to some new companies you’ll be more likely to gain self confidence, be dressing up for work and eventually get hired or meet someone who wants to work with you.
Get business cards printed! This can work miracles. While you’re looking for work, create a sideline business of consulting of some sort to get the pipeline of customers going. You can even work for free if you’re on unemployment and no one needs to know. But, it’ll get you in work mode and create opportunities for you.
Show up at public lectures. Anytime people gather to support an interest, there are going to be others just like you also attending. Strike up conversations with people around you and be sure to ask the speaker some intelligent questions. People are more attracted to individuals who “put themselves out there”.
Create a public workshop. Gather what you know, put it in workshop format and start TEACHING. There is NO better way, besides writing a book, to get noticed quickly. If you’re in a city that has opportunities for speakers such as The Learning Annex, that’s great. Otherwise, libraries and community college continuing education departments are a great place to get booked.
Network with friends. Print up business cards and tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. You’d be surprised what you will find. If you mention it to someone, they’ll know someone who knows someone, etc. When you call and use someone’s name as a referral, it’s called a WARM LEAD and people are more than willing to help.

Lastly, keep your spirits up during the process by taking care of yourself. Meet with friends and family who are supportive as often as possible. Write in a journal. Work out a few times a week to get your blood flowing. Take a walk near the lake or ocean to bring a sense of tranquility. Read old letters and references about how great you’ve been in the past. And most of all, support other people who need help too. It’s the best way to know that you bring great value to the world.

Bringing value is what it is all about. Find a place where you can start bringing value and know that it can lead to something better or more suited to you. It doesn’t have to be the RIGHT job. But it can be the job for RIGHT now.