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Planning to re-enter the workforce after 5 years at home raising children. Any recommendations?

Career Exploration The Hiring Process

QUESTION: My husband and I recently separated and I have been out of the workforce for five years raising our children. I have a BS degree in Business Management that I received fall of 2000 but have had little experience in the actual workforce. I do not have to immediately find employment but will have to in the future. Any recommendations on what to do, I would like to get another degree but have no professional references or real work experience to apply to most graduate programs that are of interest. ANSWER: Although you have had little experience in the actual workforce, you have years of life experience and education that will be of value to employers when you seek employment and admission to graduate programs.  Many job seekers think only about their past work experiences.  Employers are interested in the skills you acquired during those experiences.  I suggest you consider the following: 1- Transferable skills. These are the skills obtained during any activity – employment, school, community or church activities, hobbies, athletics, or raising your family. For example, the ability to speak in public is useful in many jobs and a real asset to any graduate student. 2- Temporary employment enables you to learn new marketable skills while attending school, raising a family or looking for permanent work.  Frederick County Workforce Services has a handout with a listing of many of the local staffing agencies. 3- Volunteer work with business or community organizations.  Free labor is hard to turn down.  The employer gets the benefit of your skills and you can acquire new experiences, references and skills.    4- OJT (On the job training) - Many jobs only require general life skills or transferable skills for new workers.  The specialized or job specific skill are taught on the job by the employer. Frederick County Workforce Services can sometimes assist job seekers with acquiring an OJT experience. 5- Graduate School Internships and Co-Operative Education – college and universities have programs where students can get actual work experience in their field of study as a part of their coursework.  Check with the Career Planning and Placement Offices and the Graduate department of the schools you are interested in attending to see what programs they may have available. 6- Professors from your undergraduate program can serve as professional references and you also have time to acquire references and skills. We welcome you to visit Frederick County Workforce Services at the Business and Employment Center, where our staff can assist you during the transitional period.  We can help you with your resume, interviewing skills, and networking process.  Most of all, you will find support and encouragement from our caring staff.