Lisa, from Grown and Flown, writes: You used to be so confident, successful in your career, juggling life responsibilities and bringing home a paycheck. But then came a career break, an extended period of time where, for family or other reasons, you left the full-time workforce. Now there is a gap in your resume and a sense of professional unease has crept into that opening but you want to go back to work.
Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, the founders of IRelaunch, the back-to-work organization, have been there. It is easy to forget when watching these two high-energy, confident professionals lay out a step-by-step plan of how to return to work, that, as the mothers of a combined nine children, they have walked the walk.
Cohen and Rabin have researched and written a smart book on the subject (Back on the Career Track, 2007) but far more than that, they are two moms who each took extended career breaks and came back roaring. Rabin refers to her time off as “reproductive hibernation” and admits that during her cave years she lost all touch with her professional life and contacts. She and Cohen realized that they were pioneers in a growing demographic, parents who had left the workforce only to return in midlife, their skills out of date and their confidence dented.
The professional return to work cohort is huge, by iRelaunch’s estimate nearly two million strong, and from an employer's perspective relaunchers are an attractive hire with maternity leave behind them; fewer spousal relocations; a mature perspective and an abundance of energy and enthusiasm.
Here are 10 tips from the IRelaunch experts that we gleaned after attending their recent NYC conference: