You Can Go Back Again

Ready For Reinvention 101?

Three years ago I found myself on the corner of hope and hopelessness. I was tired of standing on the sidelines as I watched the world move on. I was hit with a sudden sense of urgency to get back in the game.

Oh, I was attending games. As a stay-at-home mom, I was the point person for extracurricular activities, school functions, PTA committees – you name it. It wasn’t so much the maddening schedules or volunteer work that compelled me to move on but the realization that my kids were growing up. As a result, signs of the “old me” were starting to emerge and I was starting to crave a world outside of “mom central.”

So, I did what any book loving English major would do in this situation, after doing a Google search, I purchased the one promising book I found on this subject, Back On The Career Track by Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin.

What I loved about the book was that these were two real women who successfully ventured back into the workforce – yet not only that they’ve made it their mission to help others. The media seems to sensationalize the many women who have stepped off the career track as Sheryl Sandberg laments, “Where are all the women?”

Well, they are coming back. To complement their book, Carol and Vivian have developed a host of resources to help women reach their career potential after a break. Their iRelaunch website features tons of success stories, proving that our paths don’t all have to be linear. Each story is inspiring and unique. Relaunching is not for the faint of heart and Carol and Vivian also cover obstacles you may encounter along the way.

When an iRelaunch conference landed in my city, I attended the gathering and found an energized group of women eager but somewhat bewildered on how to get back to work. From the panel of those who have successfully relaunched to resume tips, the conference provided valuable and relevant advice. Here are some of the best tips I picked up along the way:

  1. Develop A Plan – This is the hardest part of the conundrum. Many women take this chance to do something different. Take the time you need to decide what will work for you and your family. There are many personality assessment tests you can use to get started.
  2. Get Current – Realize that the world has changed and update yourself accordingly. For some women, it may mean a trip to the hairstylist while others may enroll in computer classes.
  3. Stay Flexible – You will need to be flexible and realistic.There’s no walking right back into the job you held 10 years ago.
  4. Get Out And Network – If you feel like the words from “Barney” will flow out ofyour mouth once you get out there – you will need practice. Develop an elevator pitch and use it. Many relaunchers get hung up on the logistics of their resume and forget about networking while others flood online job postings. This is not the best way to get you inside the door. Work who you know, they can vouch for you and many companies welcome employee recommendations. Don’t hold back, whether you are on a soccer field or at a school function Networking is still one of the best ways to land a job.
  5. Believe In Yourself – Don’t expect anyone to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. In many ways, I feel like I’m a much better version of my younger self. Raising children has allowed me to develop a true sense of wisdom, empathy and better listening skills. Staying at home to raise a family, although a privilege is still a sacrifice but it is not a “Scarlet” letter type of marker. The conversation is about what your goals are now.

As for my career journey, I set out to update my credentials. One of the reasons I found the iRelaunch resources so helpful is that Carol and Vivian realistically help women determine what it is they want. I’ve gone from being a stay-at-home mom and volunteer to a freelance writer and I’m working on building my business. I also help small businesses with their marketing needs by developing e-mail marketing campaigns. This blog is another dream of mine, so it’s time for you to go out there and do what you love!

Comments

  1. I am really enjoying the idea of your blog…can’t wait to read more through this month and beyond. #blog2013

  2. Congrats and hooray!

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