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Eighteen Tips for Starting a New Career After a Break-Up

When you’ve experienced a significant loss or a break-up, it’s often difficult to perform everyday functions as simple as eating and sleeping, let alone functioning well at work. If you can escape the rat race, then take advantage of that time to refocus your career. And if you can’t, then remember to take a deep breath, and try to find the joy in the simple things in life.

1. Set Aside Time
Finding a job and pursuing your passion takes time. Make sure you set aside one to two hours in your day to either research potential companies you’re interested in, write a resume, or network. If you are dreading the nine-to-five, five-day a week job, then try to figure out a way to create your own schedule. A great inspirational book is The 4-Hour Work Week.

2. Write Down Five Things You Enjoy Doing and Are Good At
What do you really want to do with your life? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you love doing? What do hate doing? Now, look at your list and focus on what you love and what will have the most positive impact and ultimately be the most rewarding job for you.

3. Find Inspiration
Contact a person who inspires you and ask her for advice. Who is that one person who inspires you most? What does she do? What do you admire about her?

4. Gather the Essential Tools
In today’s world, it is important to be up on the latest technology. Invest in some form of technology like a Blackberry, i-Phone, computer, wireless, DSL, email, voicemail, text messaging, etc. It will pay off in the end.

5. Educate Yourself
Take the time to research ideas, industries, and companies that you are interested in pursuing. The best kept secret ... there are FREE Webinars on-line so you can educate yourself from home. Remember education empowers!

6. Get Organized
Create a good environment and organize your work space.

7. Develop an Elevator Pitch
This is your one to two description of yourself and your business objective—an essential networking tool.

Ex: “I am (name) from (company) and we (what do you do?) for (who do you do it for?). Our ideal client is (who is your ideal client?).”

Ex: “I am (name) and I’m looking for a job in (what industry) because I want to do (explain what you want to do). I specialize in (or I’m passionate about) ...

8. Practice and Believe It
Practice and refine your pitch until you find what feels good. Your purpose and niche might evolve over time, but that’s okay. Practice your elevator pitch on your friends and keep practicing until you believe what you are saying.

9. Network
Your chances of getting a job are much better when you know someone at the company, but if you don’t, then get out there and network. Network at the local coffee shop as you are standing in line, talk to other moms at your playdate gathering, or sign up for a business networking group online.

10. Network Through Facebook
A great way to build a fast network of friends is through Facebook. It takes fifteen minutes to sign up and pretty soon you’ll have people finding you. Once you have your friends, ask them if they know anyone in the industry you are interested in. Post a status update on Facebook and tell people you are looking for a job or starting a business. You’d be surprised how many people will respond.

11. Hire a Business Coach
There are many business coaches on the internet. They can clarify your goals and objectives and help you land your dream job.

12. Create a Resume
Do a google search for “resume template” and use that to create your resume. Make sure the resume is easy to read and clear. It’s always helpful to run it by a few friends to make sure everything makes sense.

13. Compile a List of References
List three to four people who could give you a work recommendation and get their name, title, address, phone number, and email.

14. Market Yourself
Set up a profile on Linkedin. Linkedin is a social utility network that connects people in business. Sign up and upload your profile and business experience online. This is also a good way to get noticed by recruiters.

15. Be Prepared
Once you finally get an interview … be prepared and research the company you’re applying for. What do they do? How long have they been in business? What’s new in their industry? Who are the players? The more knowledge you have, the better.

16. Be Direct and Ask for What You Want and Deserve
It never hurts to ask. If you only want to work three days a week, then make the arrangement ahead of time with the employer. If you want a higher salary, then ask for what you think you deserve because … if you don’t, you won’t be happy. Remember, you deserve the best, so ask for what you want.

17. Four Qualities That Make a Good Impression:

1. Confidence
2. Positive Self-Esteem
3. Good Elevator Pitch
4. Look and Feel Good 

18. Be Your Authentic Self
In your interview, be honest and forthright, and most importantly, be your authentic self.

Originally published on The Break-Up Guide