forbesIt can be tough for women to find work after taking years off to raise kids. And if you’re looking for employment, you may need to swallow your pride, accepting pay and a position below what you formerly had. Kerry Hannon offers seven strategies for women who chose to “opt out” and are now ready to opt back in.

1. Pump up your networking.

This won’t land you a job tomorrow, it’s a process of developing contacts gradually. When you attend a networking event, show interest in what other people are up to and learn from them.

2. Start your own business or freelance.

This will help you get back to speed if you can’t find a decent full-time job.

3. Add skills and certificates.

If you’re not up on the latest technology or changes in your former field, sign up for classes to educate yourself. A specialized certificate from a community college or trade association could be helpful.

4. Dive into the social media pool.

You need to be wholly comfortable with, and really use, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Employers expect it. Tweet, post on Facebook and comment on LinkedIn about the latest news in your field, to show you’re keeping current.

5. Look for jobs at small companies.

They can’t always afford to lure top-level talent with generous retirement plans and health insurance. So they may be thrilled to snag someone as sharp as you.

6. Volunteer

Meaningful volunteering can be an excellent way to eventually land a job. You can demonstrate your skills helping out at a nonprofit and then tout your accomplishments when applying for a paid position. You might even wind up getting hired where you volunteer.

 

7. Check out the best employers for works over 50

AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management compiled a list of the Top 50 Employers who recognize the value of older workers and tend to recruit mature workers.

Check out Slideshow on Forbes

 

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By kerry