Optimising Job Search Success

work, employed, job search

As many of you will already know I am a freelance copywriter and have been for over seven years. I’ve been self-employed for over a decade now. It’s been a long time since I undertook am employed job search. I can’t see me ever rejoining the world of the employed, to be honest. I love what I do and I am very appreciative of the flexibility my work gives me, especially while I have two children in school (for the next twelve years at least).

Spending a lot of time online as part of my work I see people give up employed work to go freelance and I see freelancers decide to move back towards the stability of employed work. At the same time, I’m seeing many parents looking to move back into employed work after spending time working at the best yet worst paid job around, namely raising their children. Seeing all of this career movement has made me pause. What if I decided I did want to give up self-employment for regular hours and a set payday? Where would I start when it came to job search preparation and putting myself out there?

The last time my CV was updated was in 1999 when I applied to work for the National Autistic Society. During the six years I was there I undertook a year-long counselling course, home courses, completed a health and social care management diploma and much more besides. Now I’m a copywriter, and a freelance copywriter at that, so no provable work history as such. Do you know what? I’m not sure I even have a copy of my old CV anymore and am positive that none of my referees, as much as they loved me of course, would be in a position to act as referee now, after all this time.

Where would I start? The obvious would be to collect up my numerous pieces of paper, including all of the courses I have undertaken since becoming self-employed (I’m all about self-development, learning and personal growth). Then I would need a CV, right? These are essential for job search projects.

resume, CVThat’s where free resume templates would need to come in as I’m pretty sure that the last CV I wrote followed a template that came on a floppy disk from the college career library. Having been self-employed wouldn’t necessarily make me a poor candidate for a job, far from it. I’m self-motivated, great with managing deadlines, can work under my own initiative as well as part of a team. I have skills! As a copywriter, I could probably write a pretty darn good CV with the right template to hand however the rest of it I’m pretty hazy on.

I can’t imagine sitting in an interview room, let alone do anything new age (I’ve been out of the game for a while folks!) such as group interviews and personality testing. Gosh, the idea is petrifying and I’m not actually considering changing jobs or going back to work after time off! I can only imagine how that would feel for someone who was.

Thankfully there are a number of great blogs, tools and more online, from where job search (it’s not just the Job Centre and shop windows anymore apparently), how to come across well in interviews to preparing yourself for entering a whole new sector.

Taking a step back it is easy to see that thankfully, as the job market has diversified, so has the job search and career support sector. I’m not looking for a new job or to make any dramatic changes but actually, I’m pretty sure that if I were that there would be plenty of help and support around from those that know and understand the job market much better than I do.

Have you gone back into employment after being self-employed, freelancing or back to work after being off looking after your family? Perhaps you have been made redundant in the past after working within the same sector for years so are now looking to make a change? I’d love to hear how you found it, getting back into the job search mindset and putting yourself out there!