Caring for family members who have become frail from age or sick from a long-term illness is something with which many people—especially Baby Boomers—can relate. People are living longer. Many wish to live at home as long as they can, but as they become older and frailer, they need help. Many families are faced with the choices such as (1) giving in and placing their loved one in a facility; (2) hiring someone to come into the family member's home to help take care of them; or (3) taking time off from work in order to take on the caretaking role themselves. Related: 5 Tips For Returning To The Workforce It is a tough decision for many families, and increasingly, individuals are taking time away from work to take care of ailing family members. At some point, that individual will want to return to the world of work, but they are then faced with how to explain the gap in their work history on their résumé.
Are you ready to return to work? Job seekers with a work injury need career guidance to address issues only they experience due to their unique situation. I recently asked the injured workers I am currently assisting to complete a brief survey about their job search concerns. They were asked to list three answers for each question. Of special note, one of my clients wrote, "I feel there should be a website for mature adults who have worked all their lives. Give us a chance." Very moving... there was no way I could turn my back on this request.
Here is what I asked my current clients:
- What do you miss about working?
- What are some of your biggest job search obstacles?
- As far as job search fears, which are your biggest?
- Being out in public and seeing people
- Filling up my day with different activities
- Earning money, having freedom and independence
- Having something to look forward to
- Doing something I'm good at
- Use of my injured body part
- Memory and concentration
- Lack of skills
- Finding a job in a new field or industry
- Not being able to do the job
- Not being able to make enough money
- Not being hired
- Learning new skills
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Check Your Readiness: Is It Time To Return To Work?I wear two hats: helping clients with mental illnesses return to work and helping military transition to civilian employment. We often use SOC (stages of change) to assess if people are really ready to return to work. The decision to return to work is a thorny issue, one that is rooted in a number of issues affecting the unemployed. Among the thousands of clients I have assisted, including adults with severe mental illnesses, the decision to work again or to end a lengthy absence from the workforce necessitates careful thought and reflection. I wish I could credit the author of a resource called the “Readiness checklist.” The resource is organized into three categories:
- Can you... ?
- Are you... ?
- Do you... ?