More than 40% of women interrupt their professional careers for family or other reasons. Getting back into the workforce after a hiatus isn’t always easy, but Carol Fishman Cohen, co-founder of iRelaunch, tells Shawna Ohm of CNN that “it’s easier than it was maybe 10 years ago.”
Cohen offers women these five tips for successfully reentering the corporate world:
1. Figure out what you want to do. Your skills and interests may have shifted while you were away. Don’t just retrace career steps: take stock of who you are and what you want. Check with your college: It may offer alumnae career assessments.
2. Reconnect with people from the past. Afraid everyone will have forgotten you? Don’t be, says Cohen. If you remember them, they’re likely to remember you, too. Reach out.
3. Use social media to research potential employers. Mention what you learn in interviews: It’s good to show you’re adept at social media.
4. Update your skills. That may mean refresher courses in some professions, but in others bringing yourself up-to-date on current issues via trade magazines can be a good solution. Ask former colleagues what has changed.
5. Internships aren’t just for college students. If you are returning after a significant amount of time, Cohen suggests proposing an internship-like contract that les you work on a specific project or for a set amount of time before you’re evaluated.
If you’ve resumed a career after taking time away, share what you learned from the experience at GlassCeiling.com. Join the conversation.