Ask Denise: Will I Have the Right Skills for Employment?
I’m in my early 50s and taking care of my mom. Lately, I’ve been worrying about what I will do after my mom is gone. I know I have to get a job, but am worried that I don’t have the skills needed to find one.
I suppose it’s not a good idea to worry today about tomorrow… But, I am worried. Any suggestions?
I’m not a proponent of worrying, either. I think planning ahead is a great idea. So, rather than worry, let’s plan ahead.
For several years, Marilyn, a former member of one of our online support groups, volunteered to moderate two of our groups. As a moderator, she gained skills she later leveraged when she began her job hunt after her mother’s death. More importantly, as a volunteer, she could use me as a reference during her search.
So, my best suggestion is to get involved with an issue or organization of interest to you. If volunteering outside the house is too difficult, then look for opportunities online. I’m always looking for volunteers as I’m sure are many organizations with an online presence. The key to volunteering is to pick an organization you like and find a position that will hone existing skills while adding new ones.
My other suggestion would be to get involved with social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter. Gaining social networking skills may be helpful in the eyes of future employees—organizations are looking for employees who understand the in’s and out’s of social networking. So, for instance, perhaps you can volunteer for an organization and get involved in its Facebook fan page or in sending out tweets on its behalf.
A few other suggestions:
–Check out the course catalog at your local community college. What classes can you take?
–Research the companies you’d like to work for in the future; follow their progress through articles in magazines and newspapers
–Write a classified ad for a job you’d love to have. What skills do you need to be a qualified applicant for this dream job? How can you acquire these skills?
You have honed incredible skills as your mom’s caregiver. Think about all you do: You manage, organize, direct, prioritize, lead, advocate and teach. You can apply these skills to any career you’d like. Now’s the time to really think about who and what you want to be. The sky’s the limit.
We’ll soon be adding Think Tanks, four weekly teleclasses for family caregivers in similar situations who feel stuck and want to be unstuck. We’ll include a Think Tank called Future Me; we’ll focus on the future you want to create, including future careers. We’ll post more information about our Think Tanks in the coming weeks.
Stumped by an on-going struggle? Searching for meaning in your journey? You’re not alone!
Family caregivers ask Denise M. Brown, Editor and Publisher, Caregiving.com, for her insights and suggestions to their caregiving conundrums. Have a question for Denise? Just e-mail her. Denise will do her best to answer questions within 24 hours.
If you or your care recipient are in a crisis, we urge you to call a health care professional immediately for assistance. Denise only provides general insights about general situations. You should always consult your own lawyer, financial planner, health care professional and other professional advisors for advice specific to your situation.