Blogs

Bump, Set, Spike! Career Lessons from the Volleyball Court

by Carol Fishman Cohen

When I arrived at my small, Southern California college, I discovered volleyball and made it onto the JV team.  As a relatively short person at 5’4”, I could not be part of the wall of blockers or the powerful spiking threat that my 6-foot teammates could. I played setter for a while, but as set strategy shifted to favor tall players too, I found my highest value was as a defender on the back line. Not only was I a scrappy player who would dive for anything that came my way, but I had an eagle eye for judging which balls were going to be out of bounds as they came hurtling toward the baseline.

My volleyball experience illustrates the kind of process job seekers, whether they have taken a career break or not, need to go through to determine their value in the work place.

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"The House is Messier and I Don't Care": Wisdom from Return-to-Work Moms (My Guest Blog for the National Military Spouse Network)

By Carol Fishman Cohen

Ten years ago when Vivian Steir Rabin and I were doing the research for our career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track (Hachette, 2007, Amazon 2011),  we conducted over one hundred in-depth interviews to understand every detail about transitioning back to work after an extended career break. At the time, we focused primarily on moms returning to work after career breaks for child care reasons.

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Commenting on Economist Jodi Beggs’ Boston Globe OpEd on the Pay Gap and Career Breaks

By Carol Fishman Cohen

Jodi Beggs' Boston Globe OpEd presents an excellent, clear analysis of the pay gap and the penalties for women taking career breaks. The "trading compensation for control" solution some women choose when returning to work after a career break can be a realistic strategy for a first foray back into the workforce. This option for women returning from career breaks is to take less money than they think is fair or than they think they are worth, in order to get the schedule they want.

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Tory Burch, Ann Fudge and Linda Zecher: Three Luminaries Who Took Career Breaks

by Carol Fishman Cohen

Last month I reported live from the Massachusetts Conference for Women as a member of their “Street Team.” I was able to be front and center for the keynote presentations and selected breakout sessions. Before even half the day was over, I was thrilled to note that three luminaries speaking at the event, Tory Burch, Ann Fudge, and Linda Zecher, all took career breaks and soared to even greater professional success upon their returns than their considerable achievements before they left.

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An Interview with Bentley University President and Founding Director of the Massachusetts Conference for Women: Gloria Larson

By Carol Fishman Cohen

I was honored to have the opportunity to interview Bentley University President and Founding Director of the Massachusetts Conference for Women Gloria Larson on the 10th Anniversary of the Conference. Here’s what she had to say:

CFC: Your career history includes senior roles at one of Boston’s top law firms, in Massachusetts State government and the Federal Trade Commission, and since 2007 as President of Bentley University. Can you talk about your transitions from the public sector to the private sector to academia?

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An Important Announcement from iRelaunch

Dear iRelaunch Members:

After over 10 years working together with Carol, first writing Back on the Career Track, and then establishing iRelaunch, I have decided to leave iRelaunch at the end of this year to focus full time on my executive search business, VSR Advisors.

I have really enjoyed building iRelaunch with Carol and helping to change the conversation around career reentry. I am very proud of what Carol and I have accomplished. When we first started working together, our goal was to destigmatize career breaks and make it easier for people to return to the workforce after time at home. We set out to accomplish this by working both sides of the equation - by helping those on career break develop and execute a strategic and practical return-to-work plan and by highlighting to employers the advantages of hiring from the returning professional talent pool. Happily, as a result of our Conferences, Boot Camps, FastTrack events, book, webinars and presentations for other organizations, we have helped thousands of individuals around the world get back to work they love. I also believe that it is in part thanks to our efforts that at least half a dozen companies have set up Return to Work programs specifically to recruit from the at-home pool.

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