You have had your job for many years. You invest a lot of energy in your family. But you keep thinking about a professional move. At the same time, this desire makes you feel insecure. Changing jobs can raise fears because it means you will have to change your landmarks. This idea should not curb your approach, as professional fulfillment is an infinite source of energy.
Also, time might have undermined your self-esteem because you cannot see your full potential anymore. It is hard to promote yourself in this state of mind. Furthermore, women tend to be more humble when they talk about themselves with a potential employer.
That is why it is important to picture your skills in every area of your life (professional, personal, familial and social). Beyond your work place, all these spheres are making who you are. This 360° look can give you the necessary motivation to move forward. It also helps you give a clear and convincing pitch about your worth. For an interview, you cannot just introduce yourself, you must be ready to feel comfortable when you discuss with recruiters.
Zoom on your actual value
Yes, you evolved in a company and you developed skills there. But is your potential limited to that? Certainly not! As a mother, organizing your family life and as a committed citizen, involved in your community, you gain a lot of experience that reveals your qualities and your abilities. You set up a hockey tournament; you are on the board of an organization in your neighbourhood and volunteer at your daughter’s school… All these achievements and skills gained outside of work can become transferable skills for potential employers.
Of course, it is not easy to take an objective look at yourself. To assess your real value and draw an accurate picture of your achievements, it is best to step back and do some soul searching. Your network, whether it is friends, colleagues or members of your family, can also help you focus on your strengths. Ask them, you may be surprised by their answers.
Putting your ideas in order
Changing jobs for the better is often the result of introspection in every angle. For beneficial self-evaluation, here are some steps to take:
- Start your introspection by writing down all of your experiences, professional, personal, familial and social. Remember to include your interests, your passions and also your limits. This portrait may help you realize that your actual work does not use all of your skills, like the ones you use elsewhere. Hence the lack of achievement. If this happens, it is a great opportunity to go through a shift and to value your strengths;
- While you are thinking, ask yourself the following questions: what did you learn in the past few years? What professional achievements are you proud of? What are your goals for the future? What are your personal values? What do you expect from a work place?
- Boost your list by asking the opinion of persons around you. If needed, see a counsellor to pass psychometric or aptitude tests to expand your vision;
- Once the introspection and summary are done, take a look at the opportunities offered on the job market. Check if additional training is needed.
- Ask people you trust to look at your resume and cover letters. Their comments will help you look even better.
Passion: a common thread
Of course, several articles suggest that a job related to your passion is the only path to professional fulfillment. To achieve this, many women engage in entrepreneurship, which may jeopardize the family’s finances. But living of your passion without a safety net is not for everyone and not all women are entrepreneurs. It can also be beneficial to move closer to your passion rather than living from it.
When self-assessing, your passions may become a common thread to reveal your strengths and transpose them in an eventual job. Do you love photography? Do you need to become a photographer to reach fulfillment? Instead, try to figure out what this passion brings you in terms of creativity and find ways to use this strength at work.
The interview: a constructive exchange
Your efforts have paid off and you are invited to interviews for jobs in line with your aspirations. That’s a big milestone! If you are not chosen, do not perceive this as an obstacle. See every interview as a positive experience to deepen this introspection and the way you see yourself.
Better yet, ask for feedback after each interview. The comments made by recruiters can also feed your reflection.
Written in collaboration with Annie Boutet, editor.