Are you a baby boomer leaving the workforce to care for an aging loved one full-time after working your whole life? Are you worried that, when you enter the workforce again, your skills will be considered out of date or obsolete to employers? This is a very real possibility for people who are out of work by choice or not. Here is a list of helpful tips to keep up your job skills current so you will be prepared when you eventually return to work:
This website was created specifically with seniors and baby boomers in mind. They offer lessons for various computer programs to keep your computer skills up to date. The tuition starts at $39 a month, so it is an affordable and useful expense. You can learn from home on your own computer, so there is no need to worry about extra care costs while you are out. This is a convenient, efficient way to keep up with your computer skills while you are not working.
- Stay up to date on what is going on in your industry
Subscribe to magazines with the latest trends in your particular industry. Read articles and blogs online. Visit industry websites regularly. Just by knowing about the issues and developments in your industry while you are unemployed already makes you more valuable than someone else who is not aware of the trends.
- Attend some classes or get a certification
Many colleges and universities offer low cost or free seats in a class if you’d like to audit it, and in some states you can attend classes for a very low cost or for free because of specific programs for those that are unemployed. Many local institutions offer courses for certification as well, so it is beneficial to check what is available around you. A certification or some classes under your belt will make you more experienced in your field, even if you have been out of it for a while.
- Join local interest groups
This is a good way to get out of the house weekly or monthly, if you have additional care for your loved one available, as well as improve your skills. If you find local groups that pertain to your specific industry, attending group meetings is a great way to network and to keep up to date on the latest happenings in your field.
- Write about your industry online
This is a great way to stay connected because everybody is online these days. You could start a blog or get in touch with an established writer and write some guest blogs for their website. You could even write something for a print publication or an industry website. You will get visibility, credibility and stay connected to your industry at the same time.
One of the most important things to remember when you are a primary caregiver to an aging loved one is to not forget yourself. You still have your wellbeing, a family and finances to worry about in the long run and it is important to plan accordingly. These tips will keep you sharp and hirable no matter how long you’ve been out of the workforce.