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    Photo of Don Sutaria
March 2010

My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

It may be scary trying to return to the world of work after a long absence. But it happens all the time—even more frequently than you expect! Your time loss may be due to a sick person in your immediate family or perhaps for raising young children. You don't need to dwell on it or apologize for it during the interview. I think you will find this month's article, How Do I Re-enter the Workforce After a Long Absence? both thought-provoking and encouraging.

Career Stimulus Compassion Package
In our desire to help as many people as we can, we launched a new innovative program on January 1, 2010, called Career Stimulus Compassion Package. The response has been incredible so far. So hurry! Run, don't walk! The expiration date for this offer is March 31, 2010. In essence, Career Doctor Don will offer totally free career advice if you have been unemployed for over 12 months, 50% off if you have been unemployed for 6-12 months, and 25% off if you have been looking for a job up to 6 months. Proof is required.

Book Endorsements
Our book, Career and Life Counseling From the Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!), has received many excellent reviews. Six reviews give the book a 5-star rating, and three have a 4-star rating.

Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? says:
"Don Sutaria is one of the career counselors I most admire in the U.S. He talks about things other career counselors don't, like "your soul." Now he has written a book I like a lot, with brilliant short chapters you can digest day by day. I recommend it unreservedly to everyone."
We are deeply grateful for his endorsement.

  Career and Life Counseling From the Heart book cover
This book has been nicknamed as Chicken Soup for Your Career! Take a peek inside this book at before you decide to buy it. It is also available as an e-book from iUniverse.

Until we meet again through the magic of email, keep your feedback coming.

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach

  How Do I Re-enter the Workforce After a Long Absence?  
Believe me, re-entering the workforce after a long absence is not as horrific as it sounds! It may be a little bit more difficult, but many have done it successfully. Employers are much more forgiving these days. If you have a positive mental attitude and present yourself well, you can make a successful re-entry. Several of my clients have done it successfully, including those who were out of the world of work for almost 20 years while raising a family.

Consulting a career counselor may be helpful. The counselor will help identify your interests, skills and accomplishments, even if you were not paid for it.
      Man sitting amongst walking business people
Volunteer work can hone many skills and it should not be overlooked.

You also need to explore the job market in terms of what is out there through networking, help-wanted listings and the Internet.

If you need to acquire, or brush up on, computer skills, local community colleges can help you at modest costs, utilizing evenings and weekends.

Believe me, re-entering the workforce after a
long absence is not as horrific as it sounds!
Join self-help job-search groups in your neighborhood. Several communities and faith-based organizations have them for free as a public service. Looking for a job is a lonely task and you can use some moral support and expand your network at the same time. Join your alumni associations. Many offer career services to their former graduates.

Get active in the local chapter of your professional organization and become an officer. Exposure is important and 90% of success is just showing up! This shows you have not allowed your professional knowledge to become obsolete when you were temporarily absent from the workforce. Take workshops and attend seminars. If you are able to function, even in a limited way, as a consultant or independent contractor in your field, do so. Print up business cards even if you are completing small assignments from home. You will probably need a functional résumé which highlights your skills rather than your work history. Each résumé must be custom-tailored and written to satisfy the prospective company’s requirements. And don’t forget that an effective cover letter is even more important, to entice the prospective hiring manager into reading your résumé.

Business chart

Personal and professional references assume special importance. They will vouch for your character and work ethic. Pick them carefully and let them know ahead of time that you will use their names. Give them a copy of your résumé and cover letter.

If you have not been to a job interview for a while, it can be overwhelming, even threatening. A great deal of preparation will be needed in terms of mock interviews and on-camera feedback. Practice and rehearsing is the only way. If you don’t feel confident in this area, a competent career counselor can really help you. When the time comes to explain a large time gap, just mention that you were taking care of a sick parent or a young child, but don’t dwell on it. Don’t apologize either. You can even say that those circumstances have now cleared up.

A word about compensation. Whether you are male or female, when you are returning to the workforce after an absence the salary may be a little lower than expected. However, because of your maturity, skills and hard work, you can quickly catch up. Finally, ask for the job in a positive and optimistic way. Say you are one of the best qualified persons for the job, and that you will be a credit to the interviewer if you are hired. Good luck!

Don Sutaria, also known as "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).

Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
CareerQuest     2165 Morris Avenue; Suite 15     Union, NJ 07083     Satellite Office in New York, NY