Summary: iRelaunch is all about getting professionals back to work after a career break - most often childcare, but also eldercare, pursuing a personal interest, a personal health issue, extended travel, or other reasons. We also think about how other non-traditional professionals – expats repatriating, retirees “unretiring, military spouses and veterans, fit into the relauncher demographic. iRelaunch works with employers to create, implement and expand career re-entry programs of all kinds, and we produce the largest and longest-running dedicated career re-entry event in the country - the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference. Our fast-growing national community is made up of thousands of relaunchers in all stages of returning to work. iRelaunch Chair and Co-founder Carol Fishman Cohen's TED talk “How to get back to work after a career break” has viewed more than 2.5 million times and translated into 29 languages. Join us for our award-winning podcast featuring advice, strategies and success stories on returning to work after a career break.
Salli Cobb is now a Product Manager for a major HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) manufacturer. A mechanical engineer, Salli left her plant engineer role at a coal and natural-gas fired power plant to move with her family when her husband got an overseas assignment. After an eight year career break and a lot of job searching, she initially relaunched in an engineering role in a brand new field for her - HVAC. After 4.5 years, she remained in the HVAC industry and switched to the role she has today. Salli talks with Carol about specific steps she took to relaunch successfully, and the importance of perseverance in getting both her first relaunch job and her second, to which she applied THREE TIMES. Listen to find out how she met the person who was key to connecting her with her first relaunch opportunity - someone she barely knew - and how she ended up in her current role without ever actually applying for it.
Letitia Shen is a Hazardous Substances Engineer at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, a role she got after a career break of over 20 years. She has been an active member of our largest private Facebook group, the iRelaunch Return to Work Forum. Letitia tells us how to navigate a state employment process, and the wide range of opportunities within state environmental agencies – including related to cannabis production, food safety, enforcement, schools, and others in addition to hazardous waste. She also discusses the resilience involved in engaging in more than 30 interviews, how she met the person who was most helpful to her job search (spoiler – it had to do with a church event), and how she was rejected for the job she has now.
Dr. Winsey Stevenson talks with Carol about her initial relaunch as an on-site physician advisor following an extended career break after leaving her clinical general surgery practice, and her subsequent move to medical director at an insurance company. Kim will talk about what it was like to re-take and pass her medical boards, how she made the decision to return to non-clinical medicine and why non-clinical medicine is such a good option for physician relaunchers, especially after long career breaks. We will also find out exactly what she does in her medical director role.
When Carol asks for Selena Rezvani’s best advice on how to “be a fierce self-advocate” as Selena says, and how to reach out to people to help in a job search without coming across as opportunistic, Selena explains this is all about demonstrating executive presence! Selena is a popular Leadership Speaker and Inclusion Consultant as well as a LinkedIn Learning Instructor. Her book “Pushback” addresses how self-advocacy is critical for professional success. Selena hosts a weekly show on LinkedIn Live, an invite-only platform, all about ways to elevate women at work. Tune in for a dynamic conversation.
Combining the "Best Piece of Advice" from 13 episodes of "3, 2, 1, iRelaunch," you'll hear from guests including Randi Childs who returned as a creative; seasoned recruiter Donnie Watson on relaunching; Corporate Council for TheRealReal, Liz Logie; Theresa Harris who relaunched in the arts; Chris Rudnicki on maintaining mental health during your relaunch, and many more. Be sure to listen to the full podcast content from each of these special guests in previous episodes.
Lisa Fain is the CEO at the Center for Mentoring Excellence. She speaks with Carol all about mentoring and the role mentoring and being mentored can have in a relaunch, and once back to work. They discuss the “growth mindset” and the idea of “becoming” vs the “fixed mindset," why you don’t have to “have all the answers” to be an effective mentor, and how the best mentoring relationships are enabling instead of dependent. Fun fact: Lisa Fain’s mother, Lois Zachary, the founder of the Center for Mentoring Excellence is a relauncher! When Lisa was in middle school, her mother went back to school for a PhD and founded the Center subsequently. Center for Mentoring Excellence
Kendell Brown, Founder of Ascension Careers, first transitioned her career from finance to brand management after she got her MBA. Later, after her career break, she transitioned her career again when she took a role in career services at a major university. Finally, she used all of her accumulated skills to develop a career and executive coaching business alongside her university work, and then on her own. Listen as Kendell tells us how she convinced the university that she would be an excellent candidate for a role for which she had no prior experience. As the resume expert for the iRelaunch coaching team, she explains why she recommends being “accurate but not proportionate” when recounting work history on a resume. At the close of the conversation and as we witness the rise of the pivotal Black Lives Matter movement, Kendell comments on her relaunch experience as a Black woman and mother.
Dorothy DeWitt, Director of the Division of Market Oversight at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, grew up on a Texas farm and later graduated from University of Texas at Austin and Harvard Law School. She successfully relaunched her career in 2014 in a much more junior role than the one she left before her career break, and after a job search that was prolonged by the 2008 recession. Dorothy’s career soared after her relaunch. She candidly discusses what led to her current senior role and dispenses excellent advice for all relaunchers along the way.
Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO of Hint, talks to Carol about how she left a powerful career to be home with her kids, and got the idea for Hint when looking for a healthy, good-tasting alternative to diet drinks. They discuss Kara’s early career at Time magazine, CNN and AOL, being an entrepreneur within a company versus on your own, risk profiles and naysayers. Kara has been named to Forbes “40 Women to Watch Over 40” and Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs.” Kara’s book Undaunted will be released in October 2020. Read more about Kara here: 7 Questions with Kara Goldin
EP 140: Best Advice for Relaunchers Special Memorial Day Compilation Episode by iRelaunch
Cynthia Stewart, Director of System Engineering at Science and Engineering Services, LLC, talks with Carol about her engineering start at NASA, her 17-year career break raising her four children, and how her attendance at a job fair led her back into the engineering world with no up-skilling. Cynthia shares how a temporary job as the Children’s Director at her church gave her the communications skills to re-enter the workforce. She discusses how she relaunched as a Systems Engineer, a different type of engineering than what she did before her career break, and how it was the perfect fit for her when she relaunched. More on Cynthia’s career path and relaunch can be found in this article written last year.
Ginny Brzezinski is a former Capitol Hill press secretary, writer, speaker, iRelaunch Advisory Board member and co-author, with her sister-in-law, Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, of the recently released Comeback Careers. Ginny talks with Carol about her own career break, relaunching in real estate which gave her some flexibility while raising her children, and now co-authoring Comeback Careers. Ginny explains the value of relaunching later in life and how the resilience and maturity you bring to the table makes you “stronger, wiser, better.”
Carol speaks with Liz O’Donnell, Founder of Working Daughter, a community of women (and men) balancing their careers and caregiving of an elderly parent or loved one. Liz has firsthand experience holding down a busy career, raising a family and then taking on a caregiving role out of the blue with both of her parents. Liz and Carol discuss the importance of “showing up” at work now, in order to gain trust and equity with your co-workers for the future when you may need some flexibility; the tough conversations that every family should have before there is a health crisis; and if you are on career break and then your circumstances change, how to position your caregiving time to your advantage.
In this episode, Carol speaks with Mary Beth Barrett-Newman, Founder and President of 2nd Career Consulting, a moderator on the iRelaunch Return to Work Forum private Facebook group, frequent iRelaunch Return to Work Conference speaker, and a member of the iRelaunch coaching team, about the challenges of returning to work during COVID-19. Mary Beth gives advice on using this time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile, take a new headshot and practice video interviewing with a friend, former colleague or the alumni career services office of your alma mater. She also discusses the importance of setting realistic goals during this time, putting yourself on a schedule, and sharing that weekly schedule with your family. Find out what Mary Beth means by making yourself "camera-ready” and hear her comments on staying resilient during this uncertain and unprecedented time.
Wendy Durica relaunched as a senior software developer at global advertising agency Kantar. Wendy has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and later, while she was relaunching, got her Master’s degree in Computer Science at night. After an extended career break, Wendy took a lower level technical support role at a bank and moved up over an eight year period to the senior role she has now. A self-described “shy person,” Wendy discusses how her confidence grew, how she was able to overcome her shyness as she advanced professionally, and the important role getting her Master’s Degree