Engineer Relaunches after 12-year Career Break

By Kara Kardon

During my 12-year professional break, I learned many things about roasting a chicken and many techniques for speed laundry sorting. I even spent some time optimizing routes between the elementary school, ballet class, the market and the little league diamond, but it never even crossed my mind to keep up with business technology. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSIE and then from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA. I spent four years as a consulting manager at PRTM (PRTM is a consulting firm that specializes in operations consulting in tech and related sectors) before first becoming a contractor to the firm and then several years later, after the birth of my third child, leaving my professional life altogether to raise my family.

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Our own Sarah Mills, iRelaunch's Director of Events, casts away her fears and jumps into new technology!

by Carol Fishman Cohen

I was technologically obsolete before I relaunched my career. That's why I know it's a temporary condition! My early years creating spreadsheets for financial analysis were so long ago, I was using LOTUS. I had to re-learn it on EXCEL. That was not so bad; it was PowerPoint that initially tripped me up. I worked and worked at it and can now create slide presentations with the best of them.

Our own Sarah Mills, iRelaunch's Director of Events, dove in and figured out how to produce our webinars and group coaching sessions on Webex without any prior experience. Was she afraid? Yes! But she persevered and figured it out.

You can do this too! Read on for details and advice.

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10 Summer Career Reentry Must-Do’s To Hit the Ground Running Right after Labor Day!

by Carol Fishman Cohen

Get in front of the fall applicant rush. Summer is the perfect time to put your relaunch plan in place. That’s the advice I give relaunchers considering pausing career-reentry aspirations during July and August.

Set aside a regular time each  week to focus on your return to work strategy. Once the nice weather comes to an end, you’ll be glad you did.

Here are 10 steps to get ahead of the crowd of candidates vying for job openings in the fall:

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More Press on Relaunching!

It's been a busy few days as media attention continues to grow in the return-to-work arena. On Monday, March 30, Carol's article, "For Professionals Returning to Work, There’s Power in the Cohort," was published in Harvard Business Review. On April 1, "The Case for Creating a Re-entrance Program for New Mothers" (FastCompany's "Second Shift") quoted Carol on the proliferation of professional internships and what goes into creating a success return-to-work program. Please click on the article titles to read the full text.

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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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