February 2, 2010
Want Back in the Game?
Ever taken (or thought about taking) a while off work – to care for family or sail around the world? 30 percent of PINK readers have. But more than 90 percent of women who do so plan to work again. And since the recession started, women who’ve opted out have poured back into the workforce.
Shannon Ingram was a vice president for the world’s second-largest business travel company when she quit to care for elderly parents. Five years later, they needed financial support, so she started job hunting … mid-recession. “Everyone said it would be hard, especially because I was in my 50s.” But six weeks into her search, she was director of marketing for Silverado Senior Living.
How? During her time-out, she stayed current on business news and technology. “I was one of the first people in my age group on Facebook.” She wrote a book, The Heart Way – A Journey from Corporate to Care. And she volunteered. “I sat on a nonprofit board and substituted in my church office to get back into work-mode.” Plus, new contacts at both helped her land the job!
Want more? Howdini.com, TheGlassHammer.com and CareerKnowHow.com suggest strategies – like getting coaching from a still-working friend and maintaining ties with past employers.
Worried about explaining the gap? Do it in your cover letter. CareerBuilder.com tells how.
Consider a re-entry program at a local business school or a returnship with a company you find interesting.
Also check out Your Career OnRamp: A Woman's Guide to Re-Entering the Workforce.
Bonus PINK Link: Don’t want to opt out? Opting up can afford you more balance as well.
"There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties or you
alter yourself meeting them.” Phyllis Bottome