Returning to the Workforce Challenge

I am a 45 year old CPA. I have been at home raising my kids for 13 years. I spent 8 years prior to that working for one of the big four public accounting firms, as a manager. I need help figuring out how to get back into the work force. I have sent out many resumes but with no success.

Returning to the workforce after a period of time is always a challenge. There have been many articles written about the subject. You didn't indicate where and to whom you sent your resume, but if you are responding to ads on the big job boards, I am not surprised that you have had little response, and I haven't even seen your resume! You also didn't mention what type of job/career you are hoping to pursue at this time. But let's assume you are interested in returning to the world of accounting. Most employers are looking for recent experience, so you might have a bit more work to do before you continue your search.

First of all, think about what skills you have that you believe you want to use in the workplace. Think about what your needs are, your values and your interests.

Then, even more importantly, you need to determine what the marketplace needs. You need to package yourself in such a manner as to meet those needs. It would also be important to determine if you have had any recent experience that might be of value, perhaps through community service and volunteering. Do you have current skills, computer knowledge, recent accomplishments that express the value you bring? Have you taken classes to keep skills current? All of these things can be incorporated into a resume if appropriate to the needs of the employers you seek to meet.

You might also consider doing some informational interviewing with people in the field so you can better determine the direction your search might take, and the types of employers that would be most open to you. Think about joining some industry associations, or attend some networking events so you can learn more about the successes and challenges of others who are currently searching for positions - and develop contacts. Networking is still the best way to find a job, especially that first step back into the workplace.

It is a lot to think about, and you might consider connecting with a career counselor for support along the way.

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