Looking for a job after a long illness…

Looking for a job at any time is a challenge, even in the prime of your health. Looking for a job after a long illness is doubly challenging. If you are someone who after an accident, disability or sickness needs to / wants to return to the world of work, don’t think about all the time you have been out of work, don’t think about how things may have changed and certainly don’t think about giving up before you start. What can you do? Who will pay you for your skills? Can you help an employer make money or save money? Are you employable at all? It is ‘Yes’ to all of these questions.

Plan your return to work by doing these:

  • Identify three job / career areas
  • Prepare to go back to school
  • Develop a tailored Résumé
  • Plan a formal job hunt campaign
  • Learn about competency-based interviewing

 Identify three job / career areas:

By yourself or through a professional, identify up to three job / career areas that you would like to work in, have an interest in, have skills in, have a qualification in, that are realistic and sustainable. You have to know what you want i.e. where you are going to. If you don’t, you will end up somewhere that others have decided for you, possibly nowhere.

Prepare to go back to school:

Accept the fact that you may have to / will have to return to education. Even while job hunting and after choosing your ideal job(s) / career(s), be upskilling / re-training. The course(s) you are pursuing must be linked to the job / career you want, they must be accredited and look impressive on your Résumé.

Develop a tailored Résumé:

Speaking of Résumé, with your job / career chosen and further education in progress, it is now time to put yourself on paper to impress potential employers. You need to tailor this document around the job you are applying for, the organization you are applying to and your skills / qualifications (past, present, future). This is your invitation to meet new employers, try not to get turned down.

Plan a formal job hunt campaign:

With your Résumé completed, you now need to look for the advertised and unadvertised jobs. The seven ways of looking for a job need to be executed here – 1. Using LinkedIn, 2. Working with Recruitment Agencies, 3. Networking, 4. Direct Mail / Cold Calling, 5. Using The Internet, 6. Attending Business Events / Seminars and 7. Answering Job Advertisements in Newspapers and Magazines.

Learn about competency-based interviewing:

With all of the above work done to the best of your ability and with a positive ‘I will secure a job’ attitude, organizations will want to meet you. The interview is the last, but not least major hurdle to complete. Most interviews are competency-based now where you have to demonstrate how and why you can make a difference in the organization.

While doing all of the above, you are taking care of your mind and body, but not letting your disability / illness get in the way of progress…

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