Being in-between jobs, or choosing to stay at home with kids, doesn’t have to mean giving up a career, or losing your business connections. Jena Abernathy, author of “The Inequality Equalizer” and a business coach, has advice on staying connected when you decide to stay home.
Maximize LinkedIn –Start or Continue to keep your business profile up-to-date and stay connected on various career related boards, forums, alumni sites and collaborative networking groups. This is a great opportunity to connect with everyone that you have not had a chance to reach out to while strengthening your sphere of influence.
Follow Social Media Rules – Keep your personal separate from your business profile. This time away may serve as a temporary “career hiatus” and you may decide to reengage at some point, the key is to stay relevant versus having everything strictly be your personal outreach. You may want to start a blog if you feel so inclined.
Consider “Hanging Your Own Shingle” – you may decide to get your own business license and perform freelance work. This allows for no break in your resume or CV, and it gives you an opportunity to think about how your skills can contribute to start-ups, small businesses or minimal part-time work that allows you to stay connected.
Set-up Lunch with a Colleague/Mentor- once a quarter – this keeps a connection with an organization that will be a reference for you someday – it allows you to “stay on the radar” without following off the grid. It is a date on the calendar that keeps you mentally connected to your career brand.
Volunteer – not only do you have the chance to “give back” but many networking opportunities arise from working side-by-side others in various organizations and can lead to other opportunities down the road when you are ready to return. You may find a new mission and passion along the way.
Never Stop Learning – can you take an on-line class – sharpen your computer skills, graphic design, get your certification? This is the time to plan and start with one course – one step at a time. Do not get overwhelmed with too many goals all at once – stay focused.
Open Yourself Up to New Possibilities – Do not forget about “you” during this critical juncture – many entrepreneurs began to think about creative solutions when they open their minds to the possibility of “what if” without deadlines – try to find 30 minutes to meditate, journal. Before you leave your job, think about your year of living – how can you be in the moment and create something even more exciting. We are all a work in process.