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'Will you have time to do it all....?'

‘I am going back to work!’ I proudly announced to just
about anyone who would listen.Many people were
very supportive, my younger child was heading to kindergarten and though I had indeed devoted my focus to being a full-time mother for the prior several years, I missed the intellectual stimulation and connection with the professional world.I was surprised by the number of… lukewarm reactions to my proclamation.‘What about your kids?', people would ask.‘How are you going to manage?’…. ‘How will you have time to do it all?’…. ‘What about your social life?’ (aww… how cute that people actually think my social life could be a real constraint)‘Have you thought about a career change… maybe re-train as a teacher or something with mothers’ hours?’
To be honest, at the beginning of my back to work journey, these questions did rattle me a bit.Obviously, there were some compelling and attractive factors fueling my desire to return to work.The thought of earning my own paycheck and having ext…
Recent posts

Back to Work - What's it like?

The calendar said it had been 19 years since I held traditional paid full time work. Those years were filled with family and friends, part-time work, volunteer experiences and elected roles but along the way I yearned to be back at work. Eventually, I tick that box and the goal was achieved,  I was offered and accepted a full time role in my field of interest!

Everyone asked me "What was I going to do before I started back to work?" - was I going to start or finish projects at home, was I going to travel, was I going to visit old and new friends However, I wasn't going to intentionally do any of those things, I was going to wake up every day knowing that the schedule and rhythm of these days was of my own making and that would soon change.

The morning arrived when it was time to head to work.  With an office dress code of  'dress for the day', I selected a casual dress and sweater.  I wanted to look like I had never left the office but not be over or under dresse…

The Returners' Dilemma

Fellow returners, do you sometimes feel that you are suffering from Returners' Settling Syndrome? Ok, so maybe I made that name up, but it is a VERYREAL feeling. You know that stoic resignation you feel when accepting a position that isn't exactly what you thought you would take. Why do we feel like we are "settling" when in fact we are stepping along the cobblestone path to something new and exciting?

In our blog group, we have had many conversations about just that - the majority of women returners we know are taking jobs that are not at the same level as where they off-ramped to pursue other things. We use words like entry level, junior position, lower level and ground floor to describe the back to work positions we accepted and/or are applying for. We talk of the quandary we face trying to decide if we should wait for something "better". We all have enthusiasm and eagerness for the new positions. BUT...  There is also a tinge of disappointment; a hint o…

To Coach... Or... Not to Coach?

I began the return to work process in earnest in January, 2017 by hiring a career coach and a resumé writer who also customized my LinkedIn profile.  The sum of these costs equaled about a week and a half of pay at the job I KNEW I would be getting, so I actually considered myself clever for being so forward thinking. The resume writer?  Was great, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  However, my coaching experience did not go as I had hoped.
I chose a Boston-based coach (local to me) that I found online and read all the positive reviews that she had.  She advertised as being a specialist in turnarounds, career changes and breaks.  Thus, I was happy to take roughly a half hour completing an in-depth onboarding survey so that my coach could best understand what kind of guidance I was looking for: what services would be redundant and which would be added-value.  I felt very good going into it – she seemed enthusiastic, had experience and I was feeling good and confident about my job sea…

Be Ready for the Unforeseen Opportunity

Sitting at the kitchen table, staring at my laptop, what do I do next to find a job? Networking, LinkedIn, combing through online job postings, informational interviews. Pop! My Facebook feed shows reacHIRE - an organization to help women re-enter the workforce is offering a "Resume" workshop and a "PowerUp" workshop to prepare to go back to work.  It sounds interesting, all I have to do is send in my resume, how hard can that be I think, let's go for this!

I send along my resume with a brief yet professional email. There's a response email in my inbox a few days later--you have been selected to take the next step, please answer some questions for us by email.  Sure, why not! I am about to pack up a family of 4 and put the dog in the kennel.  We are about to travel halfway around the world to see family for two weeks. I can fit in few short answers to these questions can't I?  Before I know it I am writing my responses to these questions at LAX, surpris…

Untacking and Stabling My High Horse.... To Stay on the Trail of Positivity

‘When are you going to get a job…?’ asked my children.  A valid question, as I had been searching for many months, but, not necessarily one that I expected to hear from a 5 and a 7 year old.  I had stopped working while pregnant with the 5 year old and committed to returning to work once both children were settled in primary school. My departure from full-time corporate work was in London in investment banking after a 15+ year career in banking and financial services.  As I had earned a graduate degree in finance and a CFA charter and there was a lot of ‘buzz’ on social media about hiring women in executive positions, board diversity improving productivity and decision making and the ‘talent drain’ as baby boomers retired, I assumed that I would quickly and easily find a job.  In fact, if I’m honest, I more expected to be choosing from a VARIETY of job offers.  It did not quite happen as I expected…
I began searching in earnest in January, 2017 by getting out the ‘big guns’; I hired a…

Informational Interviews: A Getting to Know You Meeting

So, you’re ready to go back to work!  You know you have the skills and the motivation.  You’ve checked the job postings online, maybe even done a few applications.  Now… you wait.