Sunday, February 19, 2012
Losing Sight of What You Really Want
By Kate Sykes, Director of www.careermums.com.au
Last week, I was tasked with recruiting for a part time Administrator role in Sydney. We had over 90 applications! The process of culling applications is a difficult one. Some resumes simply haven't been tailored to suit an administration role. For example, if all of your experience relates to graphic design work, it makes it diffciult to be shortlisted. others simply did not have the required experience requested by the client.
I am not a recruiter that penalises people for taking time out to look after children so this was not a big issue.
The next stage was phone screening. Talking to people on the phone is an interesting exercise. If you lack enthusiasm, knoweldge of the administrative duties required of the role, or can't remember the role you applied for (because you have applied for so many), it makes it difficult to be shortlisted.
I finally shortlisted six candidates. They were a mix of mums returning to work, mums already working and some older women who were looking to transition from full time work to part time.
While talking to one of the six candidates, we came to the agreement on the phone that this role was actually not for her. Why? This candidate was used to more senior consultant roles, but having not worked in these types of roles for 8 years, she felt that she had to start somewhere. And that somewhere was lower in skill and pay.
This is a common challenge. My immediate advice to her was to not settle for second best. Over her 'family years' this candidate had worked in 2 part time roles, published cook books, and more. She had shown incredible endurance and resilience in taking on various work related projects and roles while raising her young children.
My advice is this: If you want to return to the workplace in roles that you worked in pre-children, get busy with contacting past colleagues, managers, clients etc. Network at local business events. Attend workshops or conferences to find out more about employment opportunities. There is a skills shortage, so if you think you still have it (and want it), go for it. You will not only feel better in yourself for pursuing your career goals, but you will also be teaching your children some valuable lessons in life.
Next week: Preparing yourself for interviews.