Many women have had to face the reality of either returning to work or working longer hours in order to make ends meet.  This may be due to a spouse or partner losing their job, or their own job loss.  But where does this leave working women during the recession?

2009 saw a drastic increase  in women returning to the work force.  How can they capitalize on their return and make it worth while?  While the circumstances may not be ideal, they can at least make it work to their advantage.  Here are some tips from

To stay afloat in this economy, you will likely have to make accommodations. Take half an hour to answer the question: What’s an ideal life for me? This is the first question to ask yourself, advises Caprino. “If you’re doing work for people you don’t value, for products you don’t value, you won’t be successful.” Focus on what you really want — it may not be with your current employer.

Check out this post:  Find Your Passion: Love Your Work: Tips Galore! Print out the flower diagram and see how things change.  The number one key to success is doing work you love and value.  If you don’t then you will never be successful.

Career advancement means educating yourself, on and off the job. Seek out management development classes. If you work in marketing but really want to work in HR, then ask. “You have to close that power gap,” says Caprino. If you’re not where you want to be, sign up for the training or skills you need to get there.

Talk to your boss about the path to where you really want to be.  Create a plan and stick to it while being open to edits along the way.  To get where you want to be means learning along the way and taking the initiative to do what you need to do in order to what what you want to have.  How can you start aligning yourself with the path to your desired career?

To amp up your opportunities, research what it means to succeed in your job and industry. Create an active network and talk to people. Research what you want to do and what it will take to get there.

What women’s associations reside within your career niche?  Are there chapters, groups or conferences that you can attend?  Get your name out there with the people who are doing what you want to be doing in a few years.  One thing I like to do is talk to someone whose career path I admire, ask to see their resume and then see how they made it from where I am to where they are today.  Once you see the trajectory, then you have an idea of the blueprint you need to create in order to get to your dream job.

Enlist support. Role models and mentors are always necessary.

Role models and mentors are an incredible way to find support as you make your way back into the work force. Is there a woman within your office or circle of friends that you admire. How about approaching her to talk about her career path? Most women are more than happy to gush about themselves.

Understand social media and use it to promote yourself. “Women in the workforce really need to educate themselves about the power of social media and creating their brand online,” says Yost. “If you’re a money manager, for example, put up a blog on it and include links to interesting articles. Twitter about it. Put up a Facebook page. Employers are going to Google your name, and if you don’t show up, you don’t exist.”

Need I say more?  Pimp yourself and your brand online.  Connect with others in your niche.  Show them how passionate you are about your field of expertise.  If you don’t think you’re an expert, get a blog, research, learn along the way and look like an expert.

Today is International Women’s Day.  How are you planning to change the game as it relates to your career?

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