Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a relauncher?

A relauncher is anyone returning to work after a career break. The break can be for caregiving, health related issues or to pursue a personal interest.

Although many relaunchers are women who have stepped away from their careers to care for young children, many are men who have done the same. The community of relaunchers includes expats returning to their home country, military veterans returning to or starting a civilian career and their spouses who have been unable to work due to multiple deployments/postings. We also see retirees looking to return to work, many in a new field or industry.

For additional information please check out our Blog Posts and Podcasts  that address this issue/question.

Five Books Every Relauncher Should Read
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EP 25: “The Best Relaunch Advice”
EP 32: Special Episode with Oliver Schinkten: "Using LinkedIn to Upgrade Your Profile and Your Skills" with Oliver Schinkten
EP 39: "The 5 Critical Phases of Returning to Work" with Jill Kravetz
EP 64: Best Advice for Relaunchers Special Compilation Episode
EP 68: Best Advice for Relaunchers Special Holiday Compilation Episode

What is a career transitioner?

Many relaunchers use their career breaks to explore a new field. They may take courses, earn degrees or complete certifications during this time. They may also simply develop an interest in something new. 

It is also common for relaunchers to discover that the work they loved pre-career break does not meet their needs or fit their lifestyle post-career break. They will then explore alternative industries and professions, launching their careers in a completely new field.

I'm a relauncher, how can iRelaunch help me and where do I start?

iRelaunch can help you discern your readiness to relaunch, assess your career options, give you’re the tools you need to apply for jobs and develop the confidence you need to return to work. 

We recommend that you start by subscribing to our mailing list. Signing up is easy - just go to the iRelaunch website and enter your email and zip code in the box on that page. You will then start receiving email notices about job opportunities for relaunchers along with helpful articles and blog posts. All of this is free of charge and you can unsubscribe at any time.

The next step is to take the Relaunch Readiness Assessment. It will help you assess your appetite for work, gauge your other responsibilities to determine if this is the right time to return to work and finally, it will help you identify the resources you may need to make a relaunch possible. 

Once you have decided you are ready and able to return to work, we recommend that you take advantage of the Return to Work Roadmap. This is a 5-phase online course that walks you through the steps of assessing your options and charting your course back to work. It is loaded with practical advice and the tools you need to return to the workforce.

Along the way, you may find you need help with anything from updating your resume to brushing up your interview skills. iRelaunch has lots of resources to help you with these and other needs specific to your relaunch. 

You may also find yourself looking for examples of others who have successfully relaunched their careers or support from others going through the same process. We have a database of success stories from real-life relaunchers who have shared their journeys with us and a free podcast where you can listen to over 100 interviews with successful relaunchers and job transitioners.  You may also consider joining the iRelaunch Return to Work Forum. Moderated by one of our career coaches, the Forum is a private Facebook group where relaunchers can share their questions, offer advice and get support from fellow relaunchers on the same journey.

For additional information please check out our Blog Posts and Podcasts that address this issue/question.
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Who can I talk to for advice about my job search?

We always recommend that relaunchers talk to the people who know them best when seeking advice about careers. Trusted friends and family are often the most perceptive when it comes to advising you on a decision as big as relaunching your career. That said, these people may also have their own biases which are not always helpful. 

If you feel you need help in navigating this process, you may want to consider one-on-one personal coaching. iRelaunch has a team of personal career coaches who are all trained in helping people chart their return to the workforce. Take a look at their profiles and reach out to one or more of the coaches to schedule a brief conversation and determine if this is a good option for you. Each coach has her own process and fee schedule and will advise you on how she can best help you in your job search.

We also recommend talking to the career resource center at your alma mater or a local university. Many schools provide career services to their alumni for free or for a nominal fee. Community colleges are also a good place to look for career advice and to find local job listings.

Most metro areas have Jewish Community Centers that can be good resources for job seekers offering career counseling among other services. Search for the internet for “Jewish Community Center” or “JCC” to find a chapter in your area. They welcome all people without regard to race, age, gender, religious preference and marital or economic status.

Finally, if you use social media and are looking for a group of like-minded relaunchers, we recommend joining the iRelaunch Return to Work Forum on Facebook. It is a private group designed exclusively for relaunchers and moderated by one of our coaches. In this group, relaunchers share their journeys – both the triumphs and the setbacks – in a supportive, judgement-free environment. It is also a good way to connect with other relaunchers in your area to form a local support group. 

Unfortunately, iRelaunch staff are not available nor are they qualified to offer free career coaching. 

For additional information please check out our Blog Posts and Podcasts that address this issue/question.
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EP 2: "Ace the Job Interview as a Relauncher" with Michael Neece
EP 3: "Dealing with Relaunch Rejection" with Valerie Cherneski 
EP 4: "How Can I Regain My Confidence after My Career Break?" with Valerie Cherneski
EP 6: "The Key Step You Cannot Skip to Relaunch Your Career Successfully' with Carroll Welch
EP38: "Optimizing LinkedIn Profiles, Networking, and Learning" with Oliver Schinkten
EP 111: “The Benefits of Coaching” with Sara Dickison Taylor

Is iRelaunch for women only?

No. While the majority of relaunchers are female, our services are open to everyone.

Is iRelaunch a job placement service?

iRelaunch is committed to connecting relaunchers with the employers who want to hire from this talent pool. We assist employers by helping them to develop return to work programs and other methods of sourcing relauncher talent. We provide relaunchers with the tools and confidence they need to be successful. 

We are NOT a search or placement firm and we receive no compensation from employers for sourcing individual job applicants.

When you apply to a job or program you’ve heard about from iRelaunch, you are applying directly to the employer, not to iRelaunch.

How do I explain my career break on my resume? In a cover letter?

The days of the having to account for every year of your life since college graduation are over. Lots of people take breaks for any number of reasons. Don’t apologize or make excuses. Just state the fact that you were out of the paid workforce for a time and, if appropriate, identify the relevant experience and skills you developed during that time. 

Focus instead on the skills and experience you bring to the job and your enthusiasm and readiness to return to the workforce.

And note, many formal career re-entry programs require applicants to have been out of the workforce for a minimum number of years. Be sure your resume reflects that career break. If you have been doing part-time or contract work outside your field, leave it off your resume or mention it only as something you have been doing to keep busy or provide income during career break.

If you need professional help with your resume or cover letter, check out our Resume Services for Relaunchers.

For additional information please check out our Blog Posts and Podcasts that address this issue/question.
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EP 14: "Relauncher Resumes that get you Hired" with Tamara Dowling
EP 41: "A Deeper Dive into Interviews - Answering the Toughest Questions" with Mary Beth Barrett Newman
EP 56: "How to Ace the ‘Tell Me About Yourself' Question and Set Yourself Apart" with Carroll Welch

Can you review my resume?

Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to review individual resumes. Instead, we suggest you engage our go-to resume expert, Kendell Brown with Ascension Careers. For a reasonable fee (discounted for the iRelaunch community), she will guide you through the process of crafting a resume that addresses your career gap in a positive manner while highlighting the strengths and skills you bring to a potential employer. 

If you’d  prefer to do it on your own, we have sample resumes and suggested wording to get you started.

For additional information please check out our Blog Posts and Podcasts that address this issue/question.
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EP 14: "Relauncher Resumes that get you Hired" with Tamara Dowling
EP 107: "First things first: Developing your resume" with Kendell Brown

How do I figure out what I want to do?

The most important part of a career relaunch is deciding what you want to do in your next act. No matter how eager you are to get a back to work, don’t gloss over this step and simply rush to apply for jobs. You could find yourself in a job for which you are qualified but uninspired. 
Take a look at the Return to Work Roadmap. By going through this self-paced online course, you will assess your career options and interests in order to focus your job search. 

How do I learn more about a specific return to work program?

All career re-entry programs are listed on our website in a searchable database. Enter the name of the company or program name to find a specific program or select the type of program, industry sector or geographic location you are looking for. Once you identify a program, click on the link to be directed to the company’s landing page where you will find details about the program and the qualifications required. You will also be able to submit your application directly through links on the company’s landing page.

Can you put me in touch with the hiring manager of a job/program advertised on your site?

iRelaunch serves as a conduit for relaunchers, giving them access to employers looking to hire from the relauncher talent pool. All applicants must submit their applications through the company’s career site. We are not in a position to share contact information for specific hiring managers nor can we endorse or support individual applications.

Is the Return to Work Conference for me? What will I get out of it?

The iRelaunch Return to Work Conference is a day of education, inspiration and opportunity to connect with employers looking to hire professionals who have been on career break. If you are just beginning your relaunch or maybe testing the waters to see if now is the time to return to work, the conference will provide the tools and inspiration you need to take the next step. If you have been trying to relaunch and not getting the results you had hoped for, the conference is a great way to gain insight into the relaunching process and, most importantly, meet employers who want to talk to you.

The conference is offered in several locations every year and often sells out. All registrants receive complementary access to the Return to Work Roadmap when they register. We recommend starting to work through this online resource prior to attending the conference in order to make the most of your conference experience.

The majority of attendees are female, but men are welcomed at the conference which is open to anyone looking to relaunch their careers.

For additional information please check out our Blog Posts and Podcasts that address this issue/question.
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EP 80: "I Got Hired After Attending the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference" Stanford Attendee Lisa Burns Gives Us the Play by Play

What do I do if I can’t afford to attend the Return to Work Conference

iRelaunch wants to make its conferences available to as many relaunchers as possible. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships to reduce the fees for people who would like to attend but cannot due to financial hardship. Please reach out to us to request a scholarship application. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to subsidize travel or hotel accommodations for conference attendees.

Do you have jobs/programs in my area?

The best way to find return to work programs in your area is to search the Career Re-entry Programs database. You can search by geographic location and industry to look for programs that might be available in your area. Keep in mind that many of these programs do not run year-round. When known, the application program dates will be posted in the database. 

What if there is no return to work program in my town or in my area of interest?

While formal, return to work internships have proliferated over the last few years, they are not the only way to return to work after a career break. In fact, most people successfully relaunch their careers by being hired directly into open positions. 

If there is not a re-entry program near to where you live on offering a position in your field, you may have to create your own “program” by suggesting to a prospective employer that they hire you on a temporary/trial basis.

Many relaunchers have successfully landed full-time, permanent positions by first working as a temporary employee or contractor. It’s a great way for an employer to see your work without making a permanent hire. It is also an opportunity for you to get a foot in the door, see if the company/position is a good fit for you and add current experience to your resume.

Everyone says the most effective job searches require networking. I don’t have a network. How do I find one?

LinkedIn is a relauncher’s best friend. Use it to reach out to former colleagues and don’t forget the people who were junior to you when you left your last employer. They may now be hiring managers! Ask to connect with anyone who you remember from your past jobs and from volunteer and other activities you’ve been involved in during your career break. When you send a request to connect, make sure to add a personal note reminding them of your connection and letting them know you are considering a return to the workforce.

Search your current network of friends, neighbors and family members. Let them know what you are looking for and ask them to refer you to people they may know who can help you. 

When you connect with people, DO NOT ASK THEM FOR A JOB. The purpose of networking is to build relationships that will eventually lead to a job.  This takes time and patience and your networking will likely lead you in directions you may not have considered. When done correctly, effective networking will create opportunities that will come to you.

For additional information please check out our Blog Posts and Podcasts that address this issue/question.
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EP 35: "Meet 100 People" - Networking with Confidence with Pat Hedley
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EP 74: "Networks & Networking – More Than a Cocktail Party” with J. Kelly Hoey
EP 98: “You Never Know Who Your Friends Know” with Sharon Gala 

 

 

Learn more about the Roadmap

A 5-Phase online workbook and support program to help you go from relaunch readiness assessment to negotiating your benefits package. Your self-paced tool for returning to work. 

Learn More

 

Success Stories

Sue Padalkar

Success Stories

Motivation, inspiration and ideas to shape your own story. Find your role models.


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"The Bible of Career Reentry"

"The Bible of Career Reentry"

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Book cover of Back On the Career Track

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