Think about all the activities you’ve engaged in as part of your communitiy responsibilities or volunteering and consider how they have provided opportunities to refresh, enhance and add to your experience and skills. These endeavours are equally as relevant to your CV as roles for which you were paid – and can adequately fill the apparent gap. One client, researched, created and managed a home education programme for her severely disabled child, co-ordinating nine different professional advisers while on a break from marketing and selling technology. Another contirbuted her previous media experience and her organisational skills to an election campaign. I filled my gap by becoming a trustee of an international humanitarian aid charity and Treasurer of a school PTA. Whether we get involved in local politics, a religious community or a charity role, we are doing something of value, for ourselves, the cause, and for any future employer.
Posted by Katerina
- Work out what is most important to you in your future job. Fine to start with 1) flexible 2) pays enough, but then go beyond that. What are you missing about work (is it using your brain, the achievement, the social aspect, …), what are you really interested in, what are you good at and love doing? If you’re wondering where to start with this process, look at Windmills online or Build your Own Rainbow.
- Use this to work out what you want from work, decide what are ‘must-haves’ and where you can compromise. You can then choose a few possibilities that really appeal and seem like they could be a good fit for you. And don’t fall into the trap of looking for the perfect job as all jobs involve trade-offs (see my last post!).
- Critically don’t spend more time thinking – practically reality test your short-list: talk to people in the area, maybe take a short course, go to a conference, work shadow, do an internship … test your ideas and learn along the way. (We’ll talk more about how to go about these steps in future posts).
Having choices and being open to possibilities is a great thing – don’t let it keep you stuck!