Q: At 40’s how can I start a career? I am a graduate with no particular skills. I have been a housewife for the last 16 years.
A : Before getting married did you ask this question, “I’m just a 24year-old college going girl, with no experience of marriage. I have no particular skills, no competence of running a house hold, managing a budget, no people skills, how will I build a successful career as a housewife”?
I’m sure you did not. You just plunged into it, without a care or thought, but maybe with a belief that you could do it. Then why do you ask this question before starting a professional career.
Both are careers, only if you think it to be. Change your perspective and you will be able to see your experience as a housewife in a different light altogether. Start by analyzing the different roles that you play :
Leader- You Lead from the front to handle all crisis situations and challenging times, taking care of the family.
Team Manager- You make the home comfortable and manage it well for all members of the family, ensuring there is peace and harmony.
CEO- All operational concerns and needs are addressed in your presence starting from completing homework to submitting school projects, refilling medicines to buying gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and social events.Educator and supervisor of the kids- You provide them with emotional and physical strength to fight for challenges today, and to make them ready for life.
Human Resource- You are also the grievance redressal cell at home, all people related issues and conflicts are resolved by you.
Finance Manager- Daily expenses, budgets, emergency expenses etc. are all in control under your capable supervision.
Project Manager- Organizing festive events, elaborate social gatherings with a 5-course menu are done at the click of a finger by managing a team of project leads (domestic help and family members), planning trips and vacations.Customer Relationship Manager- Ensuring that the needs of every member of the family are well taken care of- favorite food, clothes, likes, dislikes, movies etc.
With all of these skills tucked in your kitty, I don’t see an iota of doubt about you not being successful in any career that you choose. 3 simple steps you can take: Evaluate your Skills: To kick start your career you will definitely require special skills and certifications to build your proficiency which can take months. Meanwhile shift your focus on the skills and traits that you already have which are commonly applicable to varied roles as shared above. These are called TRANSFERABLE SKILLS. Transferable skills are those strengths or qualities thatyou can bring with you from one role to the next. I recommend that you make a list of those hard skills and soft skills where you think your strength lies and mark your proficiency and interest level against each and then start building your competence around the ones that matter.Build Your Network: Re-establish your contacts, especially the ones that are dormant- those you were close with, but haven’t connected in the past couple of years. It’s always easier to connect with familiar contacts than to start afresh with new ones, as you’d already established a relationship with them in the past based on trust, commitment and obligation.
Talk to Others: Withdrawing into a shell is the most natural thing to do during such traumatic times, even more during the current context of social distancing. Selfisolation can leave you distraught, emotionally drained and demotivated to take the right action. Talk to someone, team up with a buddy, join a mastermind class, connect with a coach to keep yourself upbeat.Finally, when it comes to restarting your career during this time of crisis, remember: The time to get started is now — but don’t do it alone.