This Question & Answer is part of our “Ask a Coach” series. Do you have a question? Ask it here.
Hello. Life played out such that I have a summa cum laude BA in psychology, 2 great kids, but never held a job. I have some volunteer experience. I want to start working as soon as possible. How do I start?
Sounds like you are ready for a new chapter of life that includes work outside the home!
The first thing that I would invite you to do is to really understand WHY you are ready to find a job for the first time. What is your WHY underneath this decision? Is it for money? Purpose? A new challenge? To follow a passion? When you deeply understand why you want something, the commitment and chances of making it happen increase.
The second thing I would recommend is to start researching lots of different opportunities. This means that you will want to reach out to people in your circles to learn about the careers they are in and what they like about them. This networking will require that you do some soul searching to get clear on what you love to do and where you make the most impact. When you meet with people you can learn from their paths and also take the time to paint a picture of what you like to do and what kinds of jobs would align with your skills and passions. (I also recommend the Maybrooks Back to Work Tool Kit, that while geared at people with work experience offers pointers and tips relevant to you as well.)
When you are ready to apply to job positions, the most important thing is to get your LinkedIn profile together. You will want to create a summary that describes you at your best. You will also want to include a professional looking picture that represents your personality. People will look you up to get a sense of your experience and it is very important that you have an on-line presence.
The journey to find new work is as important as actually landing the new job. Treat this experience as a way to get to know yourself in new ways and to stretch your comfort zone. By the time you find the new job, you will have grown even more as a woman!