Entering workforce tough at advanced age

By Kristin Woodling for Florida Today

I see a wide variety of local clients every day and there are some pretty significant questions that I get — some of those are relevant to the larger community. This column serves as a way to answer the most frequently asked mental health and wellness questions for the benefit of all Space Coast residents.

Q: Shortly after college I married the love of my life and had three beautiful children. My husband and I decided it would be best for our family if I stayed home to care for our kids and run the house while he focused on a very demanding job.

My children are now grown and I sadly lost my husband last year. I feel it would benefit me financially as well as mentally and emotionally to be working at this stage of my life.

I love the idea of starting a career to challenge myself to learn and reach new goals. At the same time, I am feeling very insecure and overwhelmed at the thought of entering the workforce at the age of 48 years old with little to show on my resume.

When I picture myself in an interview, I have this terrifying fear the interviewer will see right through me and notice my low self-esteem. My personal insecurities have held me back in the past.

 How can I overcome them and build the confidence to work toward something I know would be very fulfilling?

A: What a healthy step you are taking to seek out fulfillment at a stage where there are many big and emotional changes occurring in your world.

You are not alone in being a little intimidated by re-entering into the workforce after being home for many years. Finding work in general is not always easy, but tackling the task with confidence makes it a lot less painful.

Many people get overwhelmed by where to begin searching. I suggest taking time to reflect on what type of work you are most passionate about.

Do you like working with numbers, people, health, technology, fashion, etc…

What naturally peaks your interest or feels good will help you narrow down the line of work that will be most fulfilling to you. Doing so will give you a sense of direction and decrease the feeling of being overwhelmed while boosting motivation and drive to work toward something you enjoy.

Now, set aside the resume and grab some scratch paper. Jot down your personal qualities, strengths and skills that would be beneficial to an employer.

Raising children and managing a household often requires skills such as organization, dependability, nurturing, leadership, creativity, flexibility, communication, time-management, patience, etc…

Writing these skills down and saying them out loud is a powerful exercise to begin challenging any negative self-talk that might be trying to dominate your thoughts. You have the power to choose to acknowledge and embrace your personal strengths.

When you value what you have to offer, it changes the tone of your resume, cover letter, and interviews. Think about the difference in a salesperson selling a product they believe in versus one they don’t.

With a clearer sense of direction and a boost of confidence it’s time to spread the word and gather your resources. Let all of your family, friends and community connections know you are seeking work.

You never know who might hear of an opening and a personal referral can be impactful. I also recommend taking time to check out the website as well as visit one of the four offices for CareerSource Brevard. They have a wealth of services and support to help you with everything from preparing your resume, exploring careers, interview skills, training and connecting you with employers who are looking to hire. You can check out what they have to offer at careersourcebrevard.com

As you begin to apply for jobs, I warn you not to get discouraged by potential rejection letters. You will not be the right fit for every job, but it is not an indication that you are not a valuable applicant.

I have worked with many people who have received several rejection letters before finally getting an offer. Remind yourself that is a normal part of the process and do not let this fuel your insecurities.

While taking this journey, if you find it difficult to conquer your negative self-talk and can’t quite lift your self-esteem, consider seeking professional therapy. Insecurities can sometimes be very deep rooted. Having someone outside of your own head to help you work through these challenges for long-term change can be very freeing.

If you have a question related to emotional well-being that you would like to submit for consideration to be posted and answered in this column, you may email your inquiries to [email protected].

Kristin Woodling is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Chief Executive Officer of Pamper Your Mind LLC in Satellite Beach. Details about the practice and services provided can be found at pamperyourmind.com.

View article here: : http://www.floridatoday.com/story/life/wellness/2017/05/16/woodling-entering-workforce-tough-advanced-age/101704606/